Young Austrians shun church, study shows

One in two young Austrians never go to church, a new poll reveals.Public opinion agency Karmasin, who questioned 500 Austrians for the study published by magazine profil – found that 50 per cent of Austrians aged 30 and younger never attend Catholic masses. The firm’s research also shows that 35 per cent of all Austrians never go to church, while one in five said they were attending masses “on a regular basis.”These figures come days after a poll by OGM showed that Tibetan Buddhism leader, the Dalai Lama, is considered more trustworthy by Austrians than Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, the Viennese Catholic Archbishop and highest representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria, and Pope Benedict XVI.Only 65 per cent of the overall 8.5 million people living in Austria are Catholics, down from 89 per cent in 1961. With 87,393, more Austrians than ever before left the Church in 2010. Last year’s figure is 63 per cent higher than statistics for 2009, the previous record year.