Elder Orson Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Austria for the preaching of the gospel in 1865, but only a handful of Austrians joined the Church in the 19th century. The first lasting group in Austria began with the baptism of Johann Huber from Haag am Hausruck in 1900. Like the early Christians, early Saints in Austria “endured a great fight of afflictions” (Hebrews 10:32) after embracing the gospel message, including religious prejudice and political tumult.
Early Austrian Saints kept the faith and nurtured some of the first converts from other regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before its disintegration at the end of World War I. In 1920 members remaining in Austria were organized into the Vienna District; these Saints kept the faith through an international economic depression, annexation by Nazi Germany, and the violence of World War II. The Church grew rapidly in the postwar years: from roughly 200 members during the war to more than 2,500 by the end of the 1960s. Austria’s first stake was organized in Vienna in 1980; a second stake was organized in Salzburg in 1997. By 2015 there were over 4,500 Latter-day Saints in Austria contributing to the communities and reaching out to others in acts of service.
Official Name: Republic of Austria/Republik Österreich
Largest City: Vienna
Official Languages: Austrian German
Land Area: 82,445 km2 (31,832 mi2)
Church Area: Europe
Missions: 1 (Part of the Alpine German-Speaking Mission)