Gjerasim Qiriazi

Gjerasim Qiriazi (18 October 1858 – 2 January 1894)[2] was an Albanian Protestant preacher and educator. He is the founder of the Protestant Church of Albania and the Kosovo Protestant Evangelical Church. He also founded the first Albanian school in modern times in 1887 in Korçë, Albania, then part of the Ottoman Empire.[2]

Gjerasim Qiriazi
Gjerasim Qiriazi.JPG
Gjerasim Qiriazi
Born(1858-10-18)October 18, 1858[1]
DiedJanuary 2, 1894(1894-01-02) (aged 35)
Albanian National Awakening
Spouse(s)Athina Mikelidhi[1]
ChildrenStefan Qiriazi[1]
RelativesBrother of Gjergj Qiriazi (1868-1912)
Sevasti Qiriazi (1871-1949)
Parashqevi Qiriazi (1880-1970)
Brother-in-law of Christo Dako


Qiriazi attended a Greek school of his native Manastir, Macedonia. He then went to Samokov, Bulgaria, to attend the American College. After he finished his studies, in 1883, he started to work for the British and Foreign Bible Society in Korçë.

On November 15, 1884, while traveling to Lake Ohrid, he was kidnapped by bandits, who held him for ransom for over a year. This episode was narrated by Gjerasim in Captured by Brigands and published after his death in English in 1901.[2][3]

In 1889, he commissioned the printing of the book of Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew in Albanian Tosk, and the Gospel of Matthew in Aromanian, which were printed by "Dituria" in Bucharest on behalf of BFBS.

In 1891, the first Albanian school for girls in Korçë was founded by Qiriazi[4] and his sister, Sevasti Qiriazi. He also had a younger sister, Parashqevi Qiriazi, who started to work at the girls' school (Albanian: Shkolla e vashave) when she was only 11.[2][5]

He died at an early age from pleurisy, which he caught during his captivity.


In addition to Captured by Brigands, Qiriazi wrote an Albanian language grammar, poetry, songs and school books. A selection of his writings was published by his brother, Gjergj, in the collection Hristomathi a udhëheqës për ç'do shtëpi shqiptari (Monastir, 1902). Both brothers co-wrote the song collection Kënkë të shenjtëruara (Monastir, 1906).


Further readingEdit

  • A sacred task : the life of Gjerasim Qiriazi, John Quanrud, Ichthus Christian Fellowship. Publisher: Authentic Media, 2003. ISBN 9781850784630


  1. ^ a b c Femi Cakolli, Magda Maylam (2008-12-18), Biografia e Gjerasim Qiriazit (1858-1894) (in Albanian), Living Word Bible Church, retrieved 24 January 2014
  2. ^ a b c d e Elsie, Robert (2001). A dictionary of Albanian religion, mythology, and folk culture. Library of Congress: New York University Press. pp. 210–212. ISBN 0-8147-2214-8. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  3. ^ Kyrias, Gerasimas (1901). Captured by brigands. Religious Tract Society.
  4. ^ Skendi, Stavro (1967). The Albanian national awakening. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 136. ISBN 9781400847761.
  5. ^ de Haan, Francisca; Daskalova Krasimira; Loutfi Anna (June 30, 2006). A Biographical Dictionary of Women's Movements and Feminisms in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th Centuries. Central European University Press. pp. 454–457. ISBN 978-9637326394. Retrieved May 10, 2010.

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