1951, its independence from the state was ended by the new constitution issued for the church by the state. This prohibited the of any connections whatsoever with the Vatican. All Christian seminaries were then taken under the control of the state.
By 1953, there was hardly any trace of Roman Catholicism in Albania. Many churches were closed and only 22 of its 187 clergymen were still at liberty. The 1976 constitution specifically prohibited any religious practices. This situation was maintained until the end of the communist regime.
Marmullaku Ramadan, Albania and the Albanians ( London, 1975), pp. 75-78; Tonnes Bernhard , "Religious Persecution in Albania," Religion in Communist Lands, 10.3 ( 1982).
Social Changes in Albania During the Communist System. The most significant social change that occurred was the result of a true demographic explosion. Between 1944 and 1990, the population of the country more than doubled from 1,122,000 to nearly 3 million. By the end of the era, more than two-thirds of the Albanian people knew no other system than communism. About 35 percent of the population is under sixteen years of age which makes Albania the youngest nation in Europe. By 1991, only 51 percent of the population earned their living from agriculture; 31 percent were industrial wage earners and 19 worked in nonindustrial, white-collar jobs. The last number points to an enormous increase in the party and state bureaucracies. The country had eighteen cities with populations of 10,000 or more each compared to three such cities at the turn of the century. Thirty-four percent of the population now lives in urban centers. The average life expectancy has increased to 71 years.
An area where customs have changed fundamentally was in the status of women. In pre-World War IIAlbania, women's place was strictly in the house. Many blood feuds started of real or imagined insults to housewives. According to ancient customs, "women were for carrying things." With industrialization, and collectivization, women were increasingly drawn into the work force. They were given jobs regardless of the difficulty involved, and many of them found a place in the communist apparat. The state tried to help women by establishing state-run nurseries and day-care centers. They were given time off for childbirth and child care. Nevertheless, wherever women became dominant in a profession or occupation, salaries decline It is certainly true that the Albanian communist leadership did bring Albanians into the twentieth century. In the process, age-old customs were abandoned and even forbidden.
Kolsti John, "From Countryard to Cabinet: The Political Emergence of Albanian Women," in Sharon Wolchick and Alfred E. Meyer, eds. Women, State, and Party in Eastern Europe ( Durham, NC, 1985).
Shehu, Mehemet (1913-1981). Shehu was born January 10, 1913, in Corrush,