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Austrian diocese fined for illegal text messages to spur 'church tax' payments

CWN - September 24, 2013

An Austrian Catholic diocese has been fined for violating the country’s telecommunications law by sending text messages, in bulk, to thousands of inactive Catholics.

The Diocese of Grasz had sent text messages to some of the 17,000 registered Catholics who had not yet paid their “church tax.” In Austria, citizens who are registered members of recognized churches pay taxes to those churches; some people withdraw their church registrations to avoid the taxes.

The Graz diocese has reportedly agreed to pay a fine of €10,000 (about $13,500) for sending thousands of unwanted text messages.

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