Austria is a country famous for its culture, music and arts. It has breathtakingly beautiful scenery with magnificent lakes, large forests, high mountains and a huge diversity of animal life. Austria also has a long and painful history as a country set in the heart of Europe. In the 16th century the Habsburg dynasty not only ruled the Austrian provinces but also Spain, and large parts of the New World. At the time the Emperor coined the phrase that he ruled an Empire where the sun never set. Today Austria is a small country in the centre of Europe.
Austria also had a turbulent history during the time of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. It was first Roman Catholic, and then the ‘new’ gospel of the Reformation won the hearts of approximately 80% of the population. But only 30 years later the Counter-Reformation led by the Roman-Catholic Church and the Habsburg ruler resulted in suppression, persecution, expulsion and murder of thousands of Protestant believers … and the Austrian Empire became one of the strongest Roman Catholic countries in the world, with more than 90% Roman Catholic believers.
The drama in the 16th century had a strong impact on society, not only in religious beliefs but also in cultural behavior, values and personal beliefs. Believing in God or not became a private, hidden aspect of life. Being part of the religious system was the keeping of tradition, and obedience to the ruler.
Today the influence of the Roman Catholic Church is decreasing – only 62% of the population is still nominally Catholic. However, on the increase is not the protestant-evangelical denomination but rather Islam, the second largest confession in Austria with more than 6% of the population. Since World War II, the fastest growing group is those who claim ‘no confession’, now representing more than 20% of the population.
OM started the first evangelistic summer outreaches in 1961. Since then several thousand young Christians have spent their summer holidays or even up to two years in Austria in order to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. In spite of all these efforts only 0.4% of the population is part of an evangelical free-church today.
OM Austria is as passionate today as at the beginning in desiring to be an instrument of hope in the hearts of communities, to see lives changed and society positively influenced.
Therefore we are:
You can help us make a difference in people’s lives and make this vision become reality. Let's open another chapter of history and with God's grace again touch the hearts of the people.
OM EAST – EURASIA SUPPORT TEAM
OM EAST wants to see God glorified in Eurasia, especially former communist countries. We focus on serving and strengthening the Church, bringing hope to forgotten peoples and making their needs known. We are primarily a support team, rather than an outreach team.
Although we are based in Austria near Vienna, our main focus is outside of Austria. We work especially in partnership with ministries in the former communist countries of Eurasia.
We seek to be a voice for the forgotten peoples and for the persecuted church. We produce high quality Christian literature and multimedia. We help bring hope and dignity to people trapped in prostitution. We supply resources to needy people through our local partners and cooperate with partner ministries to provide training for specific needs.
For more information see www.east.om.org
Thank You for the incredible cultural wealth, stunning scenery and diverse wildlife of Austria. Thank You that there are young people willing to go and spread the Good News in a nation where religious beliefs have become a private, hidden aspect of life. We pray that this nominally Christian country will awaken to Your truth, and that Your power will overcome that of the increasing Muslim influence.
Thank you for considering a gift to further the work of OM. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us on 1-800-899-0432.
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