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During the 17th and 18th century, Albanians in large numbers converted to Islam, often to escape higher taxes levied on Christian subjects as well as a plethora of other reasons including ecclesiastical decay, Albania gained its independence in 1912, and from 1945 to 1992 Albanians lived under a communist government.Albanians within Yugoslavia underwent periods of discrimination and eventual self-determination that concluded with the breakup of that state in the early 1990s culminating with Albanians living in new countries and Kosovo.This fragment of a legend from the time of Tsar Samuel endeavours, in a catechismal 'question and answer' form, to explain the origins of peoples and languages.It divides the world into seventy-two languages and three religious categories: Orthodox, half-believers (i.e. The Albanians find their place among the nations of half-believers.A new wave of Catholic dioceses, churches and monasteries were founded, a number of different religious orders began spreading into the country, and papal missionaries also reached the territories of the Kingdom of Albania.Those who were not Catholic in Central and North Albania converted and a great number of Albanian clerics and monks were present in the Dalmatian Catholic institutions.In Western countries, a large and influential Albanian population exists in the United States formed from continuous emigration dating back to the 19th century.Other Albanians populations due to emigration between the 19th and 21th centuries are located in Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania. The most common native ethnonym is "Shqiptar", plural "Shqiptarë"; the name "Albanians" (Byzantine Greek: Albanoi/Arbanitai/Arbanites; Latin: Albanenses/Arbanenses) was used in medieval documents, that gradually entered European languages from which other similar derivative names emerged.
The Albanian diaspora also exists in a number of other countries. It was formed during the Ottoman era through economic migration and early years of the Turkish republic through migration for economic reasons and later sociopolitical circumstances of discrimination and violence experienced by Albanians in Balkan countries.Of them, there are five Orthodox languages: Bulgarian, Greek, Syrian, Iberian (Georgian) and Russian.Three of these have Orthodox alphabets: Greek, Bulgarian and Iberian.One population which became the Arvanites settled down in southern Greece who starting from the 16th century though mainly during the 19th century onwards assimilated and today self identify as Greeks.and form the oldest continuous Albanian diaspora, producing influential and many prominent figures.