Announcement (April 2021)
At the conclusion of the 191st General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held on Easter Sunday, 04-Apr-2021, President Russell M. Nelson announced plans to build 20 new temples, the most announced in a single day since 1998. The prophet has now announced 69 new temples in the three years he has served as president of The Church.
Vienna is the capital of Austria and its most populous city. It is also home to about 5,000 Latter-day Saints. This will be the Church’s first temple in Austria, which is considered one of central Europe’s cultural and economic centers. Orson Hyde (1805-1878), a member of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, visited Austria in 1841. More than 20 years later, Apostle Orson Pratt (1837-1903) and missionary William W. Ritter arrived in Austria to begin missionary work. Austria granted official government recognition to the Church in September 1955.
This temple announcement was also a surprise given the recent announcement of the nearby Budapest Hungary Temple in 2019. The Church's growth in Austria in the past decade has been characterized by slow membership growth and stagnant congregational growth. The Church reported 4,693 members and 17 congregations as of year-end 2019. The Church has operated two stakes in Austria in Vienna (since 1980) and Salzburg (since 1997). The first official branch in Austria was organized in 1901. The new temple will likely include the two stakes in Austria, possibly one district each in Croatia, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and possibly the Prague Czech Republic Stake. Austria currently pertains to the Freiberg Germany Temple.
Notable temple presidents have included: