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|People Name:||Jew, German|
|Primary Language:||German, Standard|
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Christian Adherents:||0.20 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
The Jews of Europe arrived on the continent at least 2,000 years ago during the early days of the Roman Empire. Since then, they have been a significant influence in the history and culture of Europe. Much of what is considered "Jewish" today finds its roots among the European Jews.
Specifically, Jews have lived in Austria since 1360 when some settled in Venice. Most of these people were merchants, bankers, money lenders, and tax collectors. They were a growing and thriving community, but like in the rest of Christian Europe, the Jews faced special challenges. Being both prosperous and insular, the Jews were often singled out for persecution. Jews were burned at the stake or deported in the early 1400s. Between 1564 and 1619 fanatic Jesuits used their influence over the government to impose a high tax on the Jewish population. One of the laws during that era forced the Jews to only allow their first born get married. This was a way to cut back the Jewish population.
The Jewish people in Austria were prospering in most of the 19th century, and into the 20th century. Then came the Holocaust. The Holocaust led to about half of them dying, and most of the others fleeing to safer countries. There are still Jewish communities in Vienna, Graz and Salzburg.
Since the end of WWII, the Jewish community in Austria has re-built itself on a much smaller level. They have their own schools, especially kindergartens. The Jewish people have established youth groups and German language publications to maintain their culture and Jewish identity.
For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. Orthodox Jews generally follow the traditional religious beliefs and practices found in the Jewish literature that interprets Scripture regarding ethical, religious, civil, and criminal matters.
Reform Jews do not believe that the Jewish Law is divinely revealed. They are not restricted to kosher foods. They neither wear the skullcap (yarmulke) when praying nor use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jews look for a personal Messiah.
Jewish people have a wonderful understanding of their connection with the Abrahamic Covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who has fulfilled that covenant. They tend to view Christianity as the religion of their oppressors rather than the fulfillment of what God promised all of humanity through Abraham centuries ago.
Pray for the Lord to give the Jewish people in Austria hearts that will want to please him. May they look to the Lord for guidance and truth, and not be satisfied with cultural traditions.
Pray for Jewish people in Austria to begin a movement to Jesus Christ, finding ways to exalt him while honoring their culture.
Pray for the Lord to move among Jewish leaders in Austria to open the doors to Christ's ambassadors.