Muslims to overtake Protestants in Austria, study says

Austria’s Muslim community continues to grow, and according to a study by the Austrian Society for International Understanding, Islam will overtake Protestantism as the country’s second-largest religious group by 2010. Christian religions had to suffer a massive decline in membership over the last 30 years, the study said. According to the 1971 census 6.49 million Austrians were Catholic. By 2006 that number had shrunk to 5.63 million. The number of Protestants went down by 120,000 to 326,000 faithful during the same period. At the same time, the number of Muslims in Austria increased 15-fold – from 22,200 in 1971 to around 400,000 in 2006, the study was quoted by DPA as saying.