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Austria Vacation Trips
Austria Religion


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Austria Religion

At the end of the twentieth century, about 74% of Austria's population were registered as Roman Catholic, while about 5% considered themselves Protestants. Austrian Christians are obliged to pay a mandatory tax (calculated by income —about 1%), this payment is called "Kirchensteuer" "Eclesial/Church tax" it was installed instead the "Religionsfond" (founded by Emperor Joseph II to pay Clerics and finance Churches) that was plundered in 1938 by the Nazis and never be reinstalled.

About 12% of the population declare that they have no religion. Of the remaining people, around 340,000 are registered as members of various Muslim communities, mainly due to the influx from Turkey, furthermore Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. About 180,000 are members of Eastern Orthodox Churches, more than 20,000 are active Jehovah's Witnesses and about 8,100 are Jewish. The Austrian Jewish Community of 1938, Vienna alone counted more than 200,000 - was reduced to solely 4,000 to 5,000 after the Second World War, with approximately 65,000 Austrian Jews killed in the Holocaust and 130,000 emigrating. A significant proportions of the current Jewish population are post-war immigrants, particularly from eastern Europe and central Asia (including Bukharian Jews). Buddhism, which was legally recognized as a religion in Austria in 1983 has a following of 20,000 (10,402 at the 2001 census).

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,

54% of Austrian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
34% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
8% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".

While northern and central Germany was the origin of the Reformation, Austria (and Bavaria) was the heart of the Counter-Reformation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the absolute monarchy of Habsburg imposed a strict regime to maintain Catholicism's power and influence among Austrians. The Habsburgs viewed themselves as the vanguard of Catholicism and all other confessions and religions were repressed. In 1781, Emperor Joseph II issued a Patent of Tolerance that allowed other Christian confessions a limited freedom of worship. Religious freedom was declared a constitutional right in the Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich in 1867 thus paying tribute to the fact that the monarchy was home of numerous religions beside Roman Catholicism such as Greek, Serbian, Romanian, Russian, and Bulgarian Orthodox Christians (Austria neighboured the Ottoman Empire for centuries) , and both Calvinist and Lutheran Protestants.

Austria continued to remain largely influenced by Catholicism. After 1918, First Republic Catholic leaders such as Theodor Innitzer and Ignaz Seipel took leading positions within or close to Austria's government and increased their influence during the time of the Austrofascism; Catholicism was treated much like a state religion by Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg. Although Catholic leaders initially welcomed the Germans in 1938 during the Anschluss of Austria into Germany, Austrian Catholicism stopped its support of Nazism later on and many former religious public figures became involved with the resistance during the Third Reich. After the end of World War II in 1945, a stricter secularism was imposed in Austria, and religious influence on politics declined.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Austria Hotels <1>  <2>   <3>  <4>  <5>  <6>  <7>  <8>

Austria Destinations: Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, Salzburg, Vienna



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