Illyricum Movement | Emanuel Fresku Church Tirana, Albania //
Eduart (Edi) & Valbona (Bona) Demo
Illyricum Movement is a Christian Church Planting organization.
The Vision of Illyricum Movement is to plant and establish local healthy churches, enabling every person to experience a new life in Christ, by helping them grow into a healthy personal relationship with the living God. Our purpose is to then prepare them to go out and make disciples of all nations by planting and establishing other churches (Matt 28:18-20).
We believe that the healthiest churches are the churches where the leaders are indigenous to the country where the church resides. Therefore, we seek church-planters who are native to their mission field with the ultimate desire to raise up a plurality of indigenous leadership.
We strive to find other healthy churches (like CCFW) that will FULLY ADOPT a church we have planted, and assist by training our leaders to have the same passion for spreading the gospel, thereby creating godly leadership accountability. When that adoption process is complete, Illyricum Movement will then move away, and the local church and the Parent church will continue together in all aspects.
Where does the name “Illyricum Movement” come from?
Paul writes in Romans 15:19, “in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” The name “Illyricum” mentioned in this passage of the bible is today the country of Albania. It is the country Paul was writing about to which he traveled preaching the full gospel. History and tradition indicate that many churches were planted in Illyricum at that time.
What is special about this Albania?
Darkness started to dominate this country in the 14th century when the Turkish Ottoman Emperor invaded and forced Islam on the people of Albania. Following the Second World War, repressive communism ruled, and in 1967 Albania was declared by law to be the “First world atheistic state,” totally devoid of any religion. In1991 Albania was again liberated from repression and Christianity returned after more than 550 years of darkness.
• Christianity in Albania is very young.
• We are the first generation of Christians.
• The Christian generation is dominated by a youthful age group (average 25 years old).
• The presence of the church is small, but growing.
• We are the first generation of Albanian Missionaries in the whole history of this country
Christian Church plants in Tirana, the capitol of Albania
At present, Illyricum Movement has planted four churches in the capitol of Albania:
Emanuel Fresku Church
Sun Hill Bible Church
Christ’s Church is coming alongside the Demo family and partnering with them as they plant this new Emanuel Fresku Church. Edi and Bona have provided their following personal testimonies:
Eduart (Edi) & Valbona (Bona) Demo and sons Noel and Sion
“Under communism we both grew up thinking that there was no God. After Communism fell in 1991, we both learned that we came from a Muslim background. When I (Eduart) was exposed to the Gospel for the first time, I was skeptical about the resurrection of Jesus which I had never heard before. I wanted to know God and thought my background religion would help me. But I became more attracted to exploring the truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus. In 1993 I became totally convinced of this truth and surrendered to Him totally. I (Valbona) heard the message about Jesus at school when some missionaries spoke to our class. I was deeply moved by the great message and was ready to respond to it immediately, knowing I would face many difficulties in the coming years with my parents for changing my faith. As a couple we have been in full time ministry since 2001. It is a great joy to spend our lives telling others about the Gospel as we plant and establish churches.”