Catholic World News

Austrian archdiocese sees surge in immigrant converts

March 06, 2017

The Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria, has seen a sharp increase in the number of converts to the Catholic faith, largely because Muslim immigrants are seeking to enter the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn presided on March 5 at the Rite of Election, as 254 adults prepared for Baptism at Easter. The Vienna archdiocese had taken the unusual step of delaying Baptisms because of the number of requests, and fears that some immigrants might profess to become Christians simply to ensure that they would be granted asylum in Austria.

While Cardinal Schönborn said that the ceremony was “a great and moving day for the Church in Vienna,” the archdiocese took unusual security precautions. The ceremony was not open to the public, for fear that some converts could face retaliation from Muslims enforcing the Islamic ban on conversion to other faiths.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 07, 2017 11:23 PM ET USA

    Will these Muslim converts slow the decline in the number of believing Catholics in Europe, or will they end up following the misdirection of some in the German Church who seem to favor the ways of the worldly over the ways of Christ?