In the renowned Apollonia Archaeological Park near Fier, Albania, which receives many visitors every day, there is the temple of the historic Monastery of the Virgin Mary, which is open for the Sunday Mass and for other worship events.
Until recently hundreds of faithful also visited the archaeological park, but things changed suddenly.
It is natural that the tourists who want to visit the theatre and other artefacts of ancient Apollonia should pay entrance fee.
However, in the last six months, by the decision of the competent services of Albania, Orthodox local residents, who want to attend the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Virgin Mary, must pay entrance fee. The churchgoers are no longer allowed, as was the case, to enter the archaeological park for free.
Thus, the number of churchgoers is plummeting. Local residents and the priest of the church, Fr. Socrati Lakko, have lodged a complaint.