Austria (Österreich - germ.), the official name is the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich) is a state in Central Europe. The population is 8.46 million people, the territory is 83 879 km². It takes 94th place in the world in terms of population and 112th in territory.The capital is Vienna, the state language is German. Austria is a federal state uniting 9 federal states, it is a parliamentary republic. The current constitution was adopted in 1920 and re-restored after the Nazi occupation in 1945.

The population is 8,420,010 people (2013). According to the 2006 census, the largest ethnic group is German-speaking Austrians, accounting for 88.6% of the country's population. The main official language is German. Spoken Austrian dialects are close to the Bavarian dialect of Germany and the German language of Switzerland (Vorarlberg).

In Austria, there are 6 recognized national minorities: Croats, Slovenes, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Gypsies (a total of about 300 thousand people) who enjoy the rights of national minorities, according to the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Rights of National Minorities of the Council of Europe. These rights and the list of official ethnic minorities were approved by the Law on Ethnic Groups (Volksgruppengezetzt), passed in 1976. Slovenes, Croats and Hungarians live in separate areas of Styria, Carinthia and Burgenland, and in Vienna, Czechs and Jews are added to them. Many Austrian citizens consider themselves not only Austrians, but, by descent from one or another land, also Styrians, Tyroleans, etc.

Accordingly, the so-called “new minorities”, which mainly include immigrants from third world countries, as well as countries of Eastern Europe and the former USSR, about which Austria made a corresponding reservation by the signing of the Framework Convention in 1998 (by ethnic minorities she understands only ones recognized as such by the above Ethnic Groups Act (1976)). At the same time, according to data for 2015, 1 813 000 people were immigrants of the 1st and 2nd generation. These are mainly people from the former Yugoslavia - over 0.5 million people (1/2 - Serbs), up to 300 thousand - Turks and Kurds. Among the rest: Romanians - 80 thousand, Poles - 70 thousand, Italians, Russians, Albanians, Bulgarians, etc. These people do not enjoy the rights of national minorities, i.e. the State does not support their identity and the education system, although it does not prohibit doing so privately.

According to the 2001 census, 73.6% of Austrians are Catholics, 4.7% are Lutherans, 6.5% of the population belong to other faiths, 12% of the population did not consider themselves to be one of the denominations (in 1991 there were only 8.6%). The subject of “Christianity” is included in the comprehensive school program and is a required subject.

The largest religious organization in Austria is the Roman Catholic Church. The State supports the Church, in the country there is a 1% Church tax, which all citizens of the country are required to pay (a citizen is exempted from paying tax on a written application for renouncing Catholicism). The Roman Catholic Church in 2000 had 5,651,479 adherents (72.1% of the population). Catholicism is represented by dioceses united in the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Austria.

There are also the Old Catholic Church (4 communities), the Protestant Church (about 100 parishes of various faiths), and the Orthodox Church (metropolis of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church and the diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church). In addition, according to the own data of the relevant organizations, in Austria there are 299 Jehovah's Witnesses communities with 33,099 who attended their meetings in 1999 (of which 20,577 were baptized according to the ceremony of Jehovah's Witnesses), 3,889 Mormons (2000).

The second largest Austrian religion after Christianity today is Islam. About 7.0% of Austria's total population is Muslim, according to estimates for 2010. The vast majority of Muslims in Austria are Sunnis. Most Muslims came to Austria in the 1960s, from Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are also communities of Arab and Pakistani descent.

Austria is unique among Western European countries because it granted Muslims the status of a recognized religious community. This dates back to the time of the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878. Austria regulated the religious freedoms of the Muslim community with the so-called Anerkennungsgesetz (“Act of Recognition”) in 1912, and there is the first Western European country who did it. This law was not significant after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918, until Muslims in Austria did establish the Islamic Religious Community of Austria (Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich) in 1979. This Organization has the right to give religious education classes in public schools, it also has the right to collect "zakat", but the community did not used this privileges to build, finance and manage mosques in Austria. In 2013 the Austrian Alevite community received the status of a recognized religious community.

There are parallel structures in the Islamic religious group. Religious life takes place in mosques belonging to organizations representing Turkish, Bosnian and Arab Muslims. Among Turkish organizations, the “Turkish Islamic Association Federation” is regulated by the Office for Religious Affairs, while other organizations, such as "Sulaimaniyah" and "National Opinion", can be considered as branches of a pan-European organization with a center in Germany.

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