Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta was largely known for her work in India, so we tend to forget that she was born in the tiny Eastern European county of Albania. What many also may do not realize is that Albania is the first country in the world to establish atheism as the official state religion.
Albania’s history is a study in paradox. As part of the Byzantine Empire it has the singular distinction of being part of the first area on the European continent to accept Christianity under Emperor Constantine (325 AD). But, over several centuries, the area became a majority Muslim state, the only one in Europe.
Albania did not become a nation state until after World War I. It then became the first country in the world to establish atheism as its official religion less than 50 years later.