Facts and StatisticsUpdated on 31 December 2012
Orson Hyde, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited Austria in 1841. More than 20 years later, Apostle Orson Pratt and missionary William W. Ritter arrived in Austria to begin missionary work.
The first Austrian convert in Austria was Paul Haslinger in 1883. He was baptized by missionary Paul Hammer in Lambach in Upper Austria. As the Church began to develop, a small congregation was organized in 1901 in Haag am Hausruck, and a second congregation was created in Vienna in 1909. In another part of the country, Austrian Latter-day Saints were able to attend weekly worship services in a meetinghouse in the Michelmeierhof in Rottenbach (Upper Austria). However, government restrictions forced the Church to stop its missionary work for a time.
Missionary work returned at the end of World War I, and the number of Austrian Latter-day Saints increased. In 1920, the first district (a geographic area of several congregations) in Austria was organized, and a year later the Relief Society, the Church's women's organization, was formed in Vienna. Other congregations began in Linz in 1921 and Salzburg in 1928. The Church built its first chapel in Haag am Hausruck in 1937.
During World War II, missionaries serving in Austria were called back to their home countries, which left the local members to carry on the work of the Church.
In March 1946, Ezra Taft Benson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the president of the European mission, visited Vienna. He supervised the humanitarian aid programs for Austria and many other parts of Europe. The programs were the forerunners for what was later called the CARE-Packet program.
Austria granted official government recognition to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 27 September 1955.
The Church began to develop more quickly in the 1950s, with additional congregations organized in Graz and Klagenfurt and a meetinghouse in Salzburg in 1956. The Church continued to grow through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s with larger congregations organized in Innsbruck, Dornbirn, St. Pölten, Wiener Neustadt, Wels and Villach. The first stake (similar to a diocese) was created in Vienna in 1980 by Ezra Taft Benson. The country's second stake was organized in Salzburg in 1997.
From 1980 to 1990, members of the Church in Vienna contributed humanitarian services for many East European humanitarian needs. Austrian Latter-day Saints and Church members throughout the world donated food and clothing to help people on the other side of the eastern border. During the war in the former Yugoslavia, local members and the Church donated food, medical supplies and other aid to the people suffering during the war.
The world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed a concert in the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna in 1991. Another milestone came in October 1992 as Austrian Latter-day Saints watched the first live satellite transmission of general conference from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. Since then, members have enjoyed participating in these live transmissions twice a year to hear counsel and instructions from their leaders.
During the Olympic Winter Games 2002, many Austrians visited Utah and gained personal impressions of the Church. In February 2002, the First Presidency met Vice-Chancellor of Austria Dr. Susanne Riess-Passer in Salt Lake City.
In 2005, the Church in Austria celebrated its 50-year anniversary of official government recognition. On thos occasion, Federal President of Austria Dr. Heinz Fischer met Apostle Elder Tom L. Perry and Austrian Church leaders.
On 19 September 2009, a Latter-day Saint section of the Vienna Central Cemetery was dedicated by the Vienna Stake and Austrian Church President Viktor Wadosch. The ceremony was well attended by high-ranking representatives of state and local government and representatives from interfaith community were in the audience. The Vienna Central Cemetery with its 2.4 square kilometers is the second largest in Europe. All officially recognized religions are entitled to claim their separate section. The LDS section features a life-sized statue of Christ and a family by local artists and Church member Heinrich Lersch.
President Helmut Wondra as head of the “Österreichischer Kirchenvorstand” (committee representing the Church before the state) was invited by the Federal Chancellor of Austria Werner Faymann in August 2011 to attend a meeting in his office together with the leaders of all recognized churches in Austria.
For Journalist Use Only
Alfred and Elisabeth Pietsch
|Total Church Membership||4,385|
|Family History Centers||12|
Statistics for Europe
|Total Church Membership||491,278|
|Family History Centers||678|
|Total Church Membership||14,782,473|
|Missionary Training Centers||15|
|Universities & Colleges||4|
|Seminary Students Enrollment||391,680|
|Institute Student Enrollment||352,488|
|Family History Centers||4,689|
|Countries with Family History Centers||128|
|Church Materials Languages||177|
Statistics by Country
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Cote d'Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Czech Republic
- Isle of Man
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador