The Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria, has seen a sharp increase in the number of converts to the Catholic faith, largely because Muslim immigrants are seeking to enter the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn presided on March 5 at the Rite of
Election, as 254 adults prepared for Baptism at Easter.
archdiocese had taken the unusual step of delaying Baptisms because of
the number of requests, and fears that some immigrants might profess to
become Christians simply to ensure that they would be granted asylum in
While Cardinal Schönborn said that the ceremony was “a great and
moving day for the Church in Vienna,” the archdiocese took unusual
The ceremony was not open to the public, for fear
that some converts could face retaliation from Muslims enforcing the
Islamic ban on conversion to other faiths.