Higher Muslim birth rates, mass migration, and the secularization of Austrian society could lead to Muslims surpassing Christians as the largest religious group within a generation in the Austrian capital of Vienna, the birthplace of Classical music and Western thought.
According to a study published by the prestigious Vienna Institute of Demography, in less than 30 years every third Viennese will be Muslim. Austria’s leading newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported:
In less than 30 years, Muslims could become the largest religious group in Vienna, this possible scenario is predicted by the new study of the Vienna Institute of Demography, at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The “biggest factor for the religious composition in Vienna” in this case is the migration. The findings of the study will probably find their way in [Austria’s] ongoing election campaign.
Anne Goujon and her research team published a working paper under the title “Demography and religion in Austria”. The [report] analyses not only the current religious composition of the population, but also possible developments. Apart from the rise in the Muslim population, [the study] indicates the rise in the group with no religious affiliation.
The compilation of the study was supported by Austria’s Integration Fund (ÖIF) and has been published on its website.
Factors like number of children per woman, immigration and secularisation will determine Austria’s future demographic development with respect to the religious composition, explained researchers. [Translation by author]
Predictably enough, the report in Kronen Zeitung received strong reactions from the readers. “I am already looking for a house in Hungary,” wrote one, admiring Hungary’s refusal to open its border to the EU-backed refugee relocation plan. Another commentator looked back to the good old days: “The summer vacation along the Danube River, the cheerful mood on the streets without any security concerns.”
“Election day will be payback time,” retorted another reader, referring to the country’s upcoming parliamentary election.
Three centuries after the unsuccessful siege of Vienna by the invading Ottoman Turks, Austria’s capital may cease to be the part of the Christian West for all cultural and practical purposes. These demographic changes, however, won’t be limited to Vienna or Austria alone; if the mass migration from Arab and Muslim countries continues to go unchecked, other European population centers will meet the same fate.