The Republic of Austria
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From 1278 until the First World War Austria was ruled by the Hapsburg family and as such remains to this day a predominantly Roman Catholic nation. The religious population is made up of about 6% Protestant, 9% other faiths with the remaining 85% being Roman Catholic. The current borders of Austria were established in 1919 with the Treaty of Versailles. Annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938 it was liberated by the Allies in 1945. The Allies withdrew in 1955 and Austria was again internationally recognized and an independent, democratic, neutral state.
Following the Second World War a number of American servicemen from the a cappella tradition stationed in Austria for the occupation met together for services. This later led to evangelistic preaching missions by Bob Hare in Salzburg in 1953 and Jack Nadeau in Vienna in 1957. Robert Skelton became a missionary to Austria in 1956 followed by several others. German evangelist Rudolf Rischer began working in Austria in 1958. These efforts led to the baptism of several Austrians and the formation of congregations. Later congregations were formed in Graz by Tom Turner in 1965 and Kyle Holt and Bob Hare in Wiener Neustadt in 1974. The number of congregations in Austria was reported as 8 in 1990.
During the Cold War evangelistic activity into Eastern Europe was based in Vienna, including the Eastern European Mission and Bible Foundation, a printing ministry, and European Christian College (ECC). ECC was later known as The International University (now operating as The International College Vienna, Vancouver University). Founded by Otis Gatewood, it was chartered in the United States on February 4, 1980 and in Austria the following year. Stateside offices are located in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Will C. Goodheer succeeded Gatewood as President. The school is linked with other academic institutions throughout Europe and maintains satellites in Kiev and Alicante, Spain. The goal is higher education with a Christian perspective and to prepare students academically, ethically, professionally, socially, and spiritually.
Another academic ministry located in Vienna is the TCM Institute located at Haus Edelweiss. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, TCM International is supported by the American Christian Churches and Churches of Christ and since 1963 has been ministering in Eastern and Central Europe. Since 1990 church leaders from more than a dozen countries have received advanced training in practical ministries through TCM. In 2003 there were nearly 500 students participating in more than thirty classes in ten countries. The TCM approach utilizes the expertise of American academicians and professors who spend weeks and months teaching in Austria and Eastern Europe. Dr. Tony Twist is President of TCM International. Currently TCM ministers to students and in some cases operates satellite centers, in the following countries: Austria, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Belarus, Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Croatia, and Macedonia.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
The International College Vienna, Vancouver University
Telephone: (+43-1) 718 50 68-0
Fax: (+43-1) 718 50 68-9
Web site: http://www.iuvienna.edu
6337 Hollister Drive
P.O. Box 24560
Indianapolis, IN 46224
Telephone: (317) 299-0333
Fax: (317) 290-8607
Web site: http://www.tcmi.org
A-2532 Heiligenkreuz, N.O.
Telephone: +43 (2258) 8727
Fax: +43 (2258) 8727 45
Eastern European Mission and Bible Foundation
Under the Bammel Road Church of Christ
P.O. Box 90755
Houston, TX 77290
Telephone: (800) 486-1818
Fax: (713) 370-2833
Contact them for directions to the Gwen Hensley Center in Vienna