Theresa is from Austria. She is a youth
leader and very involved in her congregation and outreach in her
village. She spent one year in Israel and has returned home to
her nation to evangelize the youth and lost of her country.
Theresa speaks several languages and is well versed in the word
of God. Although she is quite young, she is full of zest and
zeal that is lacking in the nominal believer today, young and
old alike. She is an excellent violinist and knows how to
worship with this gift.
Contact Theresa at:
up in Austria, a small country located in central Europe, which
borders on Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Italy, Poland,
Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It is part
of the European Union (EU) and has scarcely more than 8 million
inhabitants, of whom 8.9 % are foreigners1. The
national currency is the Euro.
Austria is traditionally a Christian country
and is predominately Catholic:
Catholic: 73.7 %
Orthodox Catholic: 2.2 %
Protestant: 4.7 %
Other Christian groups (including e.g.
Jehovah�s Witnesses and free congregations): 0.9 %
other non-Christian groups (including
Buddhists): 0.3 %
Islam: 4.2 %
Undenominational: 14 %1
There are believers inside the Catholic and
Protestant church, but even together with believers in free
congregations we are small in number.
Traditionally, the Catholic Church has a lot of influence. Until
1781 people were not allowed to have any other religion or
practice protestant rituals. For many centuries it was very
important to show loyalty towards the Catholic Church. However,
when it was officially announced that other churches would be
tolerated as well, in some areas several thousand people
registered as Protestants. This shows that there had been
an underground Protestant Church which leads to assume that many
of the members were believers, because they had taken the risk
of belonging to an �illegal church�.
many people have a religion on their official documents, but if
you ask them about their convictions, most people are not sure
what they believe in or else they think that there are many ways
which all lead to the same God if he exists. Some would say that
they believe in God or some supernatural power and pray
many people don�t know today is that Austria had a large
percentage of Protestants in the 16th century,
shortly after Martin Luther started a revolution with his 90
theses. Although being Protestant does not mean to be a
believer, we can assume that many of the Austrian Protestants in
the 16th century were believers because being
Protestant often meant persecution. The following Catholic
counter reformation was supported by the Austrian Kaiser and
nobility and so people had to choose between becoming Catholic
or leaving the country. To conclude, this means that Austria
threw out most of the believers it ever had.2
seems to be quite a sad heritage, but God has not finished yet.
Some 50 or 60 years ago, the so called free churches began to
develop. They consisted of people who were mostly Catholic and
came to understand that God has to judge sin, but shows mercy
towards the sinner if he repents, and that forgiveness is
through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They wanted to continue
with this new life and live according to the principles of the
Bible only, but quickly found that they got stuck in the system
of the Catholic Church. Therefore, some of them decided to leave
the church and meet in small groups out of which small
congregations developed. Some stayed in the Catholic Church but
attend meetings of like-minded people.
missionaries were also sent from other countries, but up until
today there are few mission works or Bible colleges in Austria.
years ago there were only a few small congregations and the
prayer of believers was that God would increase the number of
congregations and people who believed in Jesus Christ. Today,
with the second- or even third generation of believers,
congregations are growing in number and members.
a generation of young people who grew up in the congregation and
were educated in faith, but now have to decide on their own if
they are willing to live their life to the glory of God and
surrender all to Him or not. Sometimes it is a real struggle to
stay focused on what it is all about: knowing on which side we
stand and making it clear with everything that we do that we are
not from the world, but servants of the living God.
our challenge in a changing society is to be set apart for God
and continue with the pioneer work that our parents started.
of my heart is that many will realize God�s fire and passion for
them and for a lost world and that people will understand that
we are living in the most crucial time ever and that we are to
stand up for our God, because of His love for us!
http://www.wabweb.net/history/frames/protooefr.htm from April 1,