In 1804 in London was formed the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) who’s aim is the spreading of the Bible in the language of different nations as in that year in Europe one could not find even 20 languages that the Bible was translated into. An agent of this society named Robert Pinkerton was helping its branch in Tsarist Russia who’s way leading him through Vienna where he met with a group of Albanians. From them he learned that there Albania and Albanian language. So he decided to visit the country of Albania, mainly southern part of Ionian islands populated with Albanians, and there learned of the difficult state of Albanians under the Turks, under the dominance of the Greek church, etc. As a result to this visit, on August 28th, 1816 Pinkerton wrote a letter to the BFBS requiring that a decision is brought for the translation of the New Testament in Albanian language as soon as possible. This personality; this society and this letter jointly, are the milestone that marks the beginning of the Protestant movement among Albanians which is now 200 years old.
This is what Pinkerton wrote: “The furnishing of the Albanians with the New Testament at least, in the own language, is an object highly worthy of the attention of the British and Foreign Bible Society. This nation occupies a great part of ancient Illyricum, and Epirus, and speaks a language which seems to have no grammatical affinity with the Slavonian, Turkish, Greek, or Latin languages. Most of the Albanians are professed Christians, belonging to the Greek communion; others are so deeply sunk in ignorance of the principles of Christianity that they have embraced the Mohamedan faith“. (Source: Annual Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society, Report no 13, pp. 93-94).
Pinkerton will also write other letters to BFBS with his proposal and his exciting commitment. A year after, he finds Vangjel Meksi, the personal physician of Ali Pashё Tepelena, who would begin translating the New Testament – work that he will accomplish in two years. In 1824 its portion “the Gospel According to Matthew” is published in Corfu where as in the year 1827 the whole “New Testament” comes of the print. Editorial works is carried out by Gregor Gjirokastriti. Pinkerton was Scottish and he soon was filled with love for nation of Albanians and Albania. He was burning ablaze inside out to see that the Gospel is preached and taught in the Albanian language.
The Bible Society is address; institution; agency and compass that whenever speaking about the Albanian Renaissance by no means can be overlooked the role that has given to the formation of this nation.
Related to this marked date not only for the Albanian culture but also for the Protestant community in Kosova and Albania, by the Kosova Protestant Evangelical Church, Albania Evangelical Brotherhood and the Institute for Albanian and Protestant studies is declared a full year with activities with numerous cultural, scientific, journalistic activities, this year to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Protestant movement among Albanians and in the following year to mark the 500th Year Anniversary of Protestant Reformation.
On the dates 24-26 October, 2016 in Prishtina KPEC is holding a cultural academy and scientific symposium.