Difference between revisions of "Austria Church History"
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=== Religious History ===
=== Religious History ===
Revision as of 20:29, 19 March 2016
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Religious History[edit | edit source]
The Catholic Church prevailed in the Austrian Empire for many years prior to the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s. Many important records began to be kept by Church officials concerning land, tax, court and other civil affairs. The Reformation provided much of the impetus for the widespread recording of parish registers even in the predominantly Catholic areas of Austria. Some early Protestant records date from 1523, and early Catholic records from 1560. The strong Catholic orientation of the Habsburgs succeeded in returning the Czech and Hungarian lands to the Catholic fold after a century of Protestant record keeping there. The Thirty-Years’ War 1618-1648 and other conflicts caused extensive damage to records in many areas.
Early in the 1400s reformer John Huss in Bohemia succeeded in creating a climate for change. His movement and the United Brethren who broke from the Hussites in 1467 preceded the general Reformation that engulfed Europe during the years 1520-1560. Lutheranism followed by Calvinism became popular in Bohemia and Moravia, as well as in Slovakia, Hungary and Transylvania. Unitarianism was popular in Transylvania. Anabaptists, Orthodox adherents and Jews were also prevalent. Ottoman rule in Hungary brought Muslim subjugation to all of these denominations in the 1600s. Lutheranism became strong in Slovenia and Salzburg in the 1520s, but was not so widespread in other western areas which remained primarily Roman Catholic.
The Catholic Counter-Reformation succeeded in regaining the entire territory for Catholicism. In turn many Czech Protestants fled to Germany, and Lutherans, particularly Salzburgers went to Prussia and Germany. Reformed Protestants went to Hungary, Poland and Transylvania. Hungary continued a Protestant tradition despite the Catholic status of the Empire. Orthodox adherants were prominent in Bukovina, Croatia and Slavonia, although they also were compelled to pledge their loyalty to the Pope in the 1600s, thus forming the Uniat or Greek-Catholic denomination. Jews were prevalent in Galicia and Bukovina.
In 1880, 78% of the population of Austria-Hungary was Roman Catholic, 10% Protestant, 6% Orthodox, and 5% Jewish and 1% Muslim. In 1991 religious affiliation in Austria was 89% Roman Catholic, 6% Protestant, 2% Muslim, 1% Orthodox and 2% other.
The Roman Catholic Church has 2 archbishoprics and 7 bishoprics. The Protestants are of the Augsburg (Lutheran) or Reformed (Calvinist) confessions. Several smaller independent groups include Mennonites, Huguenots, Baptists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Methodists, Apostolics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.
REFORMATION IN AUSTRIA[edit | edit source]
|Brethren 1467-||Bohemia, Moravia||1620|
|Lutherans 1523-||Austria, Salzburg, Slovenia Bohemia, Moravia Hungary, Slovakia Banat, Transylvania||1627|
|Reformed (Calvinists) 1526-||Hungary Banat, Transylvania||1627|
|Hutterites (Anabaptists) 1528-||Moravia||1620|
|Orthodox 1586-||Banat, Transylvania Slavonia (Croatia) Galicia||1697 (Uniat)|
|Old Catholics 1872-||Austria|
References[edit | edit source]
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Austria,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1999.