Democracy in Crisis Overview:
International Religious Freedom Report Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice.
There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report, and government policy continued to contribute to the generally free practice of religion.
The generally amicable relationship among religious groups in society contributed to religious freedom; however, there was some societal mistrust and discrimination against members of some nonrecognized religious groups, particularly those referred to as "sects. Religious Demography The country has an area of 32, square miles, and its population was an estimated 8.
In the past several years, the country experienced a rise in immigration from countries such as Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which increased the number of Muslims in the country.
According to the census, membership in major religions was as follows: Roman Catholic Church, Atheists accounted for 12 percent, and 2 percent did not indicate a religious affiliation.
The vast majority of groups termed "sects" by the Government were small organizations with fewer than members. Among the larger groups was the Church of Scientology, with between 5, and 6, members, and the Unification Church, with approximately adherents throughout the country.
The provinces of Carinthia and Burgenland had somewhat higher percentages of Protestants than the national average. The number of Muslims was higher than the national average in Vienna and the province of Vorarlberg, where industry drew a disproportionately higher number of guest workers from Turkey and the former Yugoslavia.
Of that number, 2 percent attended services more than once a week, 15 percent attended weekly, 17 percent attended a minimum of once a month, 34 percent attended several times a year on special occasionsand 32 percent never attended.
The Government is secular. The Roman Catholic Church is the predominant religion; many Roman Catholic holidays are also government holidays.
The status of religious organizations is governed by the Law on Recognition of Churches and by the Law on the Status of Religious Confessional Communities, which establishes the status of "confessional communities.
Each category of organizations possesses a distinct set of rights, privileges, and responsibilities. Recognition as a religious society under the law has wide-ranging implications, such as the authority to participate in the mandatory church contributions program, to provide religious instruction in public schools, and to bring religious workers into the country to act as ministers, missionaries, or teachers.
Under the law, religious societies have "public corporation" status. This status permits religious societies to engage in a number of public or quasi-public activities that are denied to confessional communities and associations.
The Government provides financial support for religious teachers at both public and private schools to religious societies but not to other religious organizations. The Government provides financial support to private schools run by any of the thirteen officially recognized religious societies.
The Government recognizes thirteen religious bodies as religious societies: The Law on the Status of Religious Confessional Communities imposed new criteria on religious groups to achieve religious society status, although it allowed previously recognized societies to retain their status.
Only four of the thirteen recognized religious Catholic, Protestant, Islamic Community, and Eastern Orthodox groups would meet this membership requirement. The law allows nonrecognized religious groups to seek official status as "confessional communities" without the fiscal and educational privileges available to recognized religions.
To apply, groups must have at least members and submit to the Government their written statutes describing the goals, rights, and obligations of members, as well as membership regulations, officials, and financing. Groups also must submit a written version of their religious doctrine, which must differ from that of any religious society recognized under the law or any confessional community established under the law.
Once the Government recognizes them, religious confessional communities have juridical standing, which permits them to engage in such activities as purchasing real estate in their own names and contracting for goods and services.
A religious group that seeks to obtain this new status is subject to a six-month waiting period from the time of application to the Ministry of Education and Culture. According to the ministry, as of Maythirteen groups had applied for the status of religious confessional community, and ten were granted the new status.
The ministry rejected the application of the Sahaja Yoga group in Since then, its decision has been upheld in the Constitutional Court and Administrative Court. Religious groups that do not qualify for either religious society or confessional community status may apply to become associations under the Law of Associations.
Associations are corporations under law and have many of the same rights as confessional communities, including the right to own real estate. Some groups have organized as associations, even while applying for recognition as religious societies.
There are no restrictions on missionary activities. Historically, unrecognized religious groups had problems obtaining resident permits for foreign religious workers. Unlike visas for religious workers of recognized religions, religious workers who are members of unrecognized religions are subject to a numerical cap.
Administrative procedures adopted in for certain unrecognized groups, which exempted these workers from having to obtain governmental permission to work, helped to address this problem in part.
These procedures allowed for application under an immigrant visa category that is neither employment or family-based.According to the U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report, Austria remains “a destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor,” but the government is making efforts to fight human trafficking; convictions and prosecutions for trafficking-related offenses have.
Report from Austria podcast on demand - The Report from Austria team brings you up to date on what's happening in Austria with news bulletins as well as interviews and features from the world of domestic and International politics, business, culture and sports.
This report was written by Anny Knapp, Asylkoordination Österreich, and was edited by ECRE. This report draws on information provided by the Ministry of Interior in responses to information requests, publicly available reports and responses to parliamentary questions, jurisprudence of Austrian courts, news items, and observations from the .
Nov 22, · AUSTRIA: TIER 1. The Government of Austria fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period; therefore Austria remained on Tier 1.
Review the Crime and Safety Report for Austria. U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist. See latest Austria ski conditions, updated daily with snowfall totals, snow depths, open lifts & terrain for all ski resorts in Austria.