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Many Muslim refugees among converts to Catholicism in Vienna

April 20, 2016

About half of the adults seeking baptism in the Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria, this year have been Muslims, Church officials report.

A spokesman for the Austrian bishops' conference said that the Vienna archdiocese has been receiving five to ten requests for baptism every week, with many coming from refugees who have entered Austria from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. That total is likely to rise, he said, as the influx of refugees continues. 


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  • Posted by: k_cusick1963 - Apr. 21, 2016 8:01 AM ET USA

    This is wonderful news! Going back to the 7th century, the penalty under Sharia law for converting to Christianity was and still is certain death. Praise be to God for these brave brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us keep them in our prayers.

  • Posted by: mario.f.leblanc5598 - Apr. 20, 2016 11:13 PM ET USA

    Can one doubt the sincerity of most or all of those people, considering that they will still be regarded as muslims, not only by their ethnic brothers but also by many of the secular Europeans that look at any religion with suspicion? Would we rather want them to become atheists? Let's not, as Catholics, deny the work of the Holy Spirit. As the previous commentator said, better pray for them.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Apr. 20, 2016 9:46 PM ET USA

    The story sounds a bit contrived. If these are dominantly from recent refugees when did they get instruction? Since when do those asking to take instruction petition an Archdiocese? Considering the huge numbers involved, is 5 or 10 a week significant on other than a personal basis? Isn't it nice that the story coincides with the Pope's recent publicity on the subject of refugees?

  • Posted by: todd.seiler9090 - Apr. 20, 2016 9:12 PM ET USA

    Even if they lose their life it's worth it.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 20, 2016 1:03 PM ET USA

    A very risky move on their part, if it is sincere. Time will tell. Worth praying for.