An iTeams missionary is in Vienna to serve Persian refugees in the community: “Over the past months we are seeing the congregation growing in attendance with the addition of many new families joining. In March, we celebrated New Rouz - which means New Day, which marks the first day of Spring—the 1st day of the Iranian New Year. We had approximately 115 guests to celebrate the special day. Our kids ministry has been growing over the past several months as families are connecting with the congregation.” Let us praise God for this growing work and pray for a breakthrough of the gospel in the city of Vienna.
Petra from the Czech Republic is serving students in Austria: “In Austria people think that Christianity is becoming out of date and doesn't matter. There is a group present in every major city, a few in smaller ones and sparks of pioneering international student ministry. God is helping the students to long to truly understand his word, gain a passion for evangelism and is blessing us with students willing to take responsibility. Please pray that I would understand God's purposes, get closer to him and understand him better. Pray for new passionate students, better community, and growth for the international student ministry.”
Zell am See in Austria’s Salzburg lake district has become a favourite holiday destination for many Arabs. OM Austria partners with a local church to reach these tourists. Thank God for the many divine appointments and scriptures taken back to closed countries.
An Austrian is no longer automatically a Roman Catholic - that time has passed. More and more Austrians resign from their church membership and search for happiness in their new found wealth, different forms of 'new spirituality' and occultism. Young people, especially, are seriously searching for fulfillment in their lives. Pray for a fresh appreciation of the relevance of the gospel, that through church planting, church development and youth work, the missionaries try to show the invaluable worth of a life with Christ.
Austria has eight times more Muslims than evangelical Christians, says OM Austria Field Leader Philipp Eschbach. The country’s few evangelical churches are mostly planted along major highways through the middle of the country, and these are few in number. About 100 towns with a population over 5,000 have no witness of Jesus other than the Catholic Church. In addition, only a few churches reach out to Muslims to share their life and faith with them. Pray that churches in Austria will be strengthened “to be a living testimony for their neighbours, and be able not only to share the gospel with them but also help the new believers grow in faith”.
The greatest need in the Austrian evangelical church is for Austrian leadership. The majority of the Austrian churches still rely on foreign missionaries. In the last few years mission agencies and local churches have begun to change their thinking and address this vital issue and many young Austrians are now taking up the challenge and are training for ministry. However many of these people are still reliant on foreign funding or have to work part-time. The Austrian church will need to take on this financial challenge but the rewards should be great.
Population: 8,783,198 (2017)
Official languages: German
GDP (PPP) per capita: $47,856 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 80 years
Religions: 69% Catholic, 19% Agnostic or Atheist, 5% Protestant, 4% Muslim, 3% other religions