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Among religions in Austria, Roman Catholic Christianity is predominant. According to the 2001 census, 73.6% of the country's population adhered to this denomination.[1] There is a much smaller group of Lutherans, totaling about 4.7% of the population in 2001. Since the 2001 census these two largest religious groups in Austria recorded losses in the number of adherents. The Roman Catholic Church reported a drop of more than 200,000 adherents [2]or 5% of the total Austrian population, the much smaller Lutheran church reported a drop of 50,000 adherents [3].

The number of Muslims in Austria has increased in recent years, with 4.2% of the population calling themselves Muslim, Muslims may overtake the number of Lutherans as the second largest religious group. There are also minor communities of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews in Austria.[4][5] The number of Sunday churchgoers stood at around 11.5% (as a percentage of the total Austrian population, that is 914,348 churchgoers out of a total population of 8,043,000).

Contents

History

Austria was greatly affected by the Protestant reformation, to the point a majority of the population became Protestant. The prominent position of the Habsburgs in the Counter-Reformation, however, saw Protestantism all but wiped number number of Muslims and Serbian Orthodox Christians.[6]

Despite opposition of the Roman Catholic Church and the fact that a majority of the Austrian population are (nominally) Catholics as of 1 January 2010, civil unions for gays are allowed in Austria, one of the few Catholic countries in the world for which this is the case.

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Changes in church adherence and attendance

Main Denominations in Austria [7] [8]
year population Catholics percentage Lutherans [9] percentage
1951 6,933,905 6,170,084 89.0 %
1961 7,073,807 6,295,075 89.0 %
1971 7,491,526 6,548,316 87.4 %
1981 7,555,338 6,372,645 84.3 %
1991 7,795,786 6,081,454 78.0 %
2001 8,032,926 5,915,421 73.6 % 376,150 4.7%
2005 8,250,000 5,662,782 68.5 %
2008 8,350,000 5,579,493 66.8 % 328,346 3.9%
2009 8,376,761[10] 5,530,000[11] 66.0 %

Since the second half of the 20th century, the number of churchgoers has dropped. Data for the end of 2005 from the Austrian Roman Catholic church lists 5,662,782 members or 68.5% of the total Austrian population, and a Sunday church attendance of 753,701 or 9% of the total Austrian population[12]. Data for the end of 2008 published by the Austrian Roman Catholic church shows a further reduction to 5,579,493 members or 66.8% of the total Austrian population, and a Sunday church attendance of 698,527 or 8% of the total Austrian population.[13]. The Lutheran church also recorded a large drop in adherents between 2001 and 2008.

Data

Austrian religious adherants (2005)
Catholic Protestant Muslim Other Unspecified None
68.5% 4.7% 4.2% 3.5% 2.0% 17.1%

Poll results

According to the 2005 Eurobarometer Poll,[14] based on a limited sample:

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

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Religion in Austria on CIA World Factbook". https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/au.html#People. Retrieved December 13 2006.  
  2. ^ Statistics Catholic Church in Austria 2003 - 2008
  3. ^ Statisticla overview in german
  4. ^ "Religion in Austria on CIA World Factbook". https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/au.html#People. Retrieved April 21 2007.  
  5. ^ "Religion in Austria on Sacred Destinations". http://www.sacred-destinations.com/austria/austria-religion.htm. Retrieved April 21 2007.  
  6. ^ "Religion in Austria on Sacred Destinations". http://www.sacred-destinations.com/austria/austria-religion.htm. Retrieved April 21 2007.  
  7. ^ Statistik Austria: [1] ()
  8. ^ Statistics Catholic Church in Austria 2003 - 2008
  9. ^ Statistical Data 2001 - 2008 in German
  10. ^ Austrian Population 4. Quarter 2009, retrieved 14 January 2010
  11. ^ [2] In german - 5.53 Millions Menschen sind katholisch retrieved 14 January 2010 provisional data
  12. ^ "Kirchliche Statistik der Diozösen Österreichs (Katholiken, Pastoraldaten) für das Jahr 2005". http://www.katholisch.at/site/article_blank.siteswift?so=all&do=all&c=download&d=article%3A107%3A5. Retrieved April 21 2007.  
  13. ^ "Kirchliche Statistik der Diozösen Österreichs (Katholiken, Pastoraldaten) für das Jahr 2008". http://www.katholisch.at/site/article_blank.siteswift?so=all&do=all&c=download&d=article%3A107%3A9. Retrieved November 1 2009.  
  14. ^ "Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and technology 2005 - page 11". http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-05.  

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