Austrian Buddhist Religious Society

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The Austrian Buddhist Religious Society  (ÖBR), as a legally recognized religious society, is the representative body for the Buddhists living in Austria . The ÖBR has more than 3,000 members. President is Gerhard Weissgrab.


The Buddhism in Austria goes back to around 1900; it has been institutionally resident since the 1920s ( Buddhist Society Vienna , re-established in 1949). Long-term efforts to obtain state recognition began in 1974. In 1977 the Austrian Buddhist Union  (ÖBU) was founded as an association of small private circles, particularly from Vienna and Salzburg. The 1970s of the Kreisky era were marked by government concerns about the sectarianism into which Buddhism was drawn, for example through the Hare Krishna movement . In 1978 the Kultusamt demanded a - now lost - “religious denomination” and a “devotional order”, in 1982 a statute for the umbrella organization, and finally an affidavit to join the new religious community in the event of recognition from at least 1000 people. After nine years of delays, a complaint was filed with the Administrative Court. On February 12, 1983, the Austrian Buddhist Religious Society  (ÖBR) was finally founded and granted the status of a corporation under public law , thereby legally recognizing Buddhism.

As the only representative organization for Buddhism, this institution sees itself as a “collection of all residents and foreigners living in Austria who profess Buddhism”, and a platform for “the regional representatives and all different paths and traditions of Buddhist practice”, so that the ÖBR represents them Represents world religion in Austria. But there are some groups that are not members of the ÖBR.

The ÖBR has more than 3000 people as members. At the last census, in which religious affiliation was still recorded, in 2001, 10,402 people professed Buddhism. More recent figures are not exactly known, the ÖBR - which itself has no exact figures due to the fact that it has not levied any form of church contribution - estimated the number of people “seriously close to Buddhism” at around 20,000 people in 2008.

Although the majority of the communities involved represent Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism , cooperation in public affairs is judged to be exemplary. The Buddhist religious community is also threatened by tendencies to split up due to the geopolitical situation or tensions in the countries of origin - like Islam in Austria , for example . The highly political problem of double lineage holders in the context of the Tibet issue has led to the Karmapa's Karma Kagyu school in particular being represented with several communities. The primarily theological question of Shugden worship within the Gelug school ( Ganden tradition) raised by the Dalai Lama is the reason that the only Buddhist monastery in Austria, the Letzehof in Vorarlberg, does not belong to the umbrella organization.

The association plays a well-respected role in interreligious dialogue . A state-canonical special position of Buddhism so far, which only when he is (2014) of 14 recognized churches or religious organizations that are not on the revealed religions belongs (Christianity, Islam, Judaism), but a knowledge of religion is, therefore avoids the concept of God. The organization is recognized throughout Europe because it was the first recognized and thus legally constituted Buddhist organization in Europe (Portugal followed in 1998, Italy in 2000).


Sponsorship and management bodies

The ÖBR is supported by its member communities, including Buddhist orders, groups, centers and other institutions. Anyone who does not belong to any other recognized religious community in Austria can become a member of the ÖBR. One officially becomes Buddhist by notifying the triple refuge to the ÖBR.

The organs of the religious society are:

  • Sangharat: The representatives of these member communities (representatives of the Buddhist communities, orders, Dharma groups, institutions and foundations, approx. 20) meet at least four times a year in the Sangharat , a central council, to discuss pending questions and make decisions. It is the largest decision-making body; every member organization and the executive committee of the ÖBG have one vote.
  • Presidium: The ÖBR is led by a four-person presidium , which is elected by the members every 5 years. President since 2006 is Gerhard Weissgrab from Vienna .
  • Community assembly of Buddhist communities: The Buddhist community of Austria is responsible for looking after the members . The community assembly represents the regional communities, which includes all members of the religious society who have their normal place of residence in the respective region. Its three-person management committee is also elected by the members. The general assembly of all Buddhist communities ( general assembly) meets in the event of constitutional changes and the election of the presidium.
  • There is also an arbitration tribunal that can be invoked as the last instance in the event of the revocation of rights within the company.

The ÖBR does not levy a church tax , but finances itself according to Buddhist tradition from donations ( Dāna ) .

List of member communities (groups)

Org. ... Organization ( Sangha )
Seat … municipality, town / district
following column… state
E. … type of facility
  • Gem ... Buddhist community
  • Ord ... Order - religious Buddhist communities within an authentic teaching and practice tradition
  • Dha ... Dharma group - religious Buddhist communities that arose due to the special cultural situation of European people
  • Sti… Foundation - earmarked assets
  • Ans ... Anstalt - foundations with real assets for the plant
Since ... foundation (and membership)
T. … Buddhist tradition
  • Notes column: can be sorted by country of origin and tradition
Org. Seat E. since T. Notes, sites
Buddhist community Austria Vienna Inner City (1.) W. According to 1983 (TÜ) previous entire community; Buddh. Center Vienna (1976), Buddh. Cemetery (2005)
Buddhist Community Salzburg (BGS) Salzburg fiefdom S. 1977 open to and cross-traditional; Buddhist. Center Salzburg Lehenerstraße , stupa on Mönchsberg (1998)
Scheibbs Buddhist Center (BZS) Scheibbs - Ginselberg Lower Austria Ans 1975
all three great buddh. Traditions
Buddhadham Temple Graz Graz-Lend (4th) St. Th thai. Community; Buddharattana Pratheep Temple
Theravada school Vienna Inner City (1.) W. 1984 Th on Buddh. Center of Vienna ; Buddh. Society Vienna (founded in 1923, re-founded in 1949) ; Dhamma Center Nyanaponika ( Vienna 14th ), What Thai ( Vienna 5th ), Theravada group on Buddh. Center Salzburg , Theravada School Linz , Vipassana meditation group on Buddh. Center Graz
Sayagyi U Ba Khin (SUBK, IMC-Austria) Poggersdorf - St. Michael K 1990 Th myanmar. . Trad, International meditation center of SUBK meditation Society (est 1984th) ;
Bodhidharma Zendo Vienna Inner City (1.) W. 1979 Ma Myoshin-ji line of japan. Rinzai Zen, am Buddh. Center Vienna
Dai Shin Zen Center Mishoan Vienna- Alsergrund (9.) W. 2006 Ma Rinzai tradition of japan. Zen; Dai Shin Zen Center (2008)
Fo Guang Shan Vienna- Rudolfsheim (15.) W. Ma
Fo-Guang-Shan temple Vienna.jpg
chinese-taiwan. Fo Guang Shan Order; Fo Guang Shan Temple (err. 2010)
Peace Stupa Institute Vienna- Leopoldstadt (2.) W. Ma for Theravada , Tibet. Buddh. , Zen , mahayana practice of the lotus sutra ; from South Korea and Austria; Pyung Hwa Sa Peace Association ; Peace Stupa Zalaszanto / HU (2007)
Lotus Sangha Vienna new building (7.) W. 2001 Ma Yun Hwa Dharma Sah , Korean Buddh .; Centers Linz (-Altenberg) , Wienerwald (-Dornbach)
Senkozan Sanghe Nembutsu Do Lunz - Bodingbach Lower Austria Dha 1997 Ma Japan. Tatsutayama Senkobo (Senkobo Buddh.) ; Senkozan Temple Vienna, Senkozan Sanghe Nembtsu Ji Temple ( Linz , 2008 ); Stadtdojo Vienna (16.) , Stadtdojo Linz , Dojo Wachau ( Hollenburg )
New World Institute Neunkirchen Lower Austria 1986 Ma Naikan Center , Japan. Zen
Nipponzan Myohoji Vienna- Leopoldstadt (2.) W. 1983 Ma
Order of Nipponzan Myōhōji , Japan. Nichiren Buddh. ; Peace Pagoda Vienna (err. 1983) , Tempel
Puregg - House of Silence Dienten - mountain S. 1989 Ma Japan. Soto Zen Buddha .; Jakkoji Temple; Zen community Kannon Do ( Innsbruck ), Zazen group Bregenz
Austria Soka Gakkai International (ÖSGI) Vienna- Penzing (14.) W. Ord 1991 (member 2001) Ma Lay order of japan. Sōka Gakkai Nichiren-Buddh.
Pu Fa meditation center Linz Linz-Kleinmünchen Upper Austria 2009 Ma chinese-taiwan. Chungtai Chan-Buddh.
Shaolin Culture Association Vienna- Margareten (5.) W. 2011 Ma Chinese Shaolin Chan-Buddh. ; Shaolin temple
Drikung Kagyud order Vienna Inner City (1.) W. Ord 2002 Va Drikung Kagyu School, Tibet. Buddh .; Drikung Phuntsog Chöling (founded 1983) on Buddh. Center Vienna , Dharma group Drikung Samten Chögar Wilhering / Upper Austria (2008)
Karma Kagyu Diamond Way Graz- Andritz (12.) St. Ord 1986 Va
Stupa Linz cutout.jpg
Diamond Way of the Karma Kagyu School, Tibet. Buddh .; BG  Bludenz , BZ  Bregenz (- Rieden ), BG  Dornbirn-Markt , BZ Graz, BZ  Innsbruck (-Wilten) , BZ  Judenburg , Mautern (adD) , BZ  Linz with stupa Freinberg (built 2013) , BZ  Murau , BZ  Salzburg , BG  Steyr , BZ  Villach , BZ  Vienna (2.)
Karma Kagyu Sangha Vienna Inner City (1.) W. Ord 1981 (1997) Va Bodhi Path Network of the Karma Kagyu School, Tibet. Buddh .; Centers: Karme Tschö Ling am Buddh. Center Vienna and Graz (1981) ; Bodhipath Bregenz (2005) and Innsbruck (2006)
Karma Samphel Ling Vienna- Leopoldstadt (2.) W. 2010 Va Karma Kagyu School, Tibet. Buddh.
Ligmincha Austria Vienna- Wieden (4.) W. 2012 Va Ligmincha Network, Tibet. Bon Buddh. ; Groups Vienna, Graz, Upper Austria / Salzburg, Vorarlberg
Maitreya Institute Gutenstein Gutenstein - Blättertal Lower Austria 1989 Va Karma Kagyu School, Tibet. Buddh.
Austrian Dzogchen community Vienna- Mariahilf (6.) W. 1980 (member 1997) Va Dzogchen Community, Nyingma School, Tibet. Buddh .; Groups Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria ( Gersdorf - Gschmaier ) with the Yeselling Meditation Center (2008) and the Shang Shung Institute (2000) , Tyrol, Vienna
Palpung Yeshe Chökhor Ling Europe, Palpung Europe Purkersdorf Lower Austria 1997 Va Palpung Congregation of the Karma Kagyu School, Tibet. Buddh .; Palpung Yeshe Chöling's branch centers in Austria and Germany
Panchen Losang Chogyen Gelug Center (PLC-Vienna, FPMT) Vienna- Alsergrund (9.) W. 2003 Va Gelug tradition, Tibet. Buddh .; Society for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)
Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Scharnstein - Bäckerberg Upper Austria 2004 Va Chokling-Tersar line, Dzogchen - Nyingma -School, tibet. Buddh.
Shambhala meditation center Vienna new building (7.) W. 1978 Va Shambhala Buddh. ; Groups in Graz , St. Pölten , Innsbruck
She Drup Ling Graz Graz-Gries (5th) St. 1995 Va Gelug tradition, Tibet. Buddh .; Association for the Promotion of Buddhist Values ; Buddh. Center Graz ; Peace stupa in the Volksgarten (err. 1996–98) , Kalachakra Kalapa retreat center with stupa ( Garanas , 2002 )
Counter Dho-ngag Choeling (TDC) Vienna- Floridsdorf (21.) W. Ord 2005 Va Gelug tradition, Tibet. Buddh .; TDC-Vienna, TDC-Salzburg am Buddh. Center Salzburg , TDC-Carinthia in the Tibet Center (IIHTS , Hüttenberg - Knappenberg , 2008 )
Sources: → groups ; ÖBG: Buddhism in Austria (2013); BKA: Religionsbericht (2014); Status of the list 6/2014


The legal recognition brings a number of privileges for the religious community, such as the possibility of giving denominational religious instruction in public schools, pastoral care in justice and hospitals, and easier visas for monks and nuns from abroad.

The ÖBR is responsible for Buddhist religious instruction, representation in interreligious bodies and the organization of courses and ceremonies as well as running the Buddhist cemetery in Vienna.

The religious education in Austria began in the 1993/94 academic year. It takes place in the afternoons across all schools and levels, and is designed for all Buddhist currents as well as for the whole religious society. More than 200 students take part in a total of 19 groups; these are spread across six federal states (Lower Austria, Burgenland and Vorarlberg are missing). The education and training of the religious teachers took place mostly in Salzburg; in the future it will take place within the framework of the Kirchliche Pädagogische Hochschule Wien / Krems .

The mobile hospice association of the ÖBR is active in care for the elderly and terminal care, regardless of religious orientation and origin, at home and in inpatient facilities.

In addition, the ÖBG publishes the magazine Buddhismus in Österreich , as well as the ÖBR yearbook and the regular ÖBR newsletter .

International and interreligious dialogue

The ÖBR is a member of the European Buddhist Union and the World Fellowship of Buddhists .


Ceremony 25 years of ÖBR

On February 23, 2008, the Austrian Buddhists celebrated the 25th anniversary of their recognition in a ceremony at the University of Vienna in the presence of the responsible Federal Minister Claudia Schmied together with high-ranking representatives from other religious communities.

The Austrian Buddhist Religious Society organized an autumn symposium on October 23 and 24, 2009 in the Billrothhaus in Vienna. The theme of the conference was Ways to a New Paradigm - Healing from Suffering Developments .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Buddhist Community Salzburg (
  2. Scheibbs Buddhist Center (
  3. Buddhadham Tempel Graz ( Memento from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), on ( Buddhadham Tempel Graz ,
  4. Theravada School (
  5. Dhammazentrum Nyanaponika (
  6. Sayagyi U Ba Khin - International Meditation Center Austria (
  7. Bodhidharma Zendo (
  8. Dai Shin Zen Center Misho-an (
  9. 維也納 佛光 山 Fo Guang Shan ( , also on
  10. Peace Stupa Institute - Pyung Hwa Sa Peace Association Buddhist Temple (
  11. Lotus Sangha Austria; Vienna Yun Hwa Dharma Sah (
  12. a b Senkozan Sanghe Nembutsu Do Dharma Group - Senkobo Buddhism in the West (
  13. New World Institute (
  14. Peace Pagoda - Nipponzan-Myôhôji (
  15. Puregg "House of Silence" (
  16. Zen Community Kannon Do (
  17. ^ Zazen group Bregenz , on
  18. Austria Soka Gakkai International (
  19. Pu Fa Meditation Center Linz ( Memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), on
  20. Shaolin Temple Austria Culture Center (
  21. Drikung Kagyü Order / Drikung Phuntsog Chöling (
  22. Drikung Samten Chö Gar (
  23. Diamond Way Buddhism Karma Kagyu Lineage (
  24. Karma Kagyü Sangha Vienna (
  25. Karma Kagyü Sangha Graz (
  26. a b Bodhipath - Buddhist center of the Karma Kagyu lineage (
  27. Karma Samphel Ling (
  28. ^ Ligmincha Austria (
  29. Maitreya Institute Gutenstein (
  30. Austrian Dzogchen Community (
  31. Yeselling - Luminous since the beginning ( ; Yeselling ( Memento from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) ,
  32. Shang Shung Institute - branch in Austria (
  33. Palpung Yeshe Chökhor Ling Europe (Palpung Europe,
  34. Panchen Losang Chogyen Gelug Center (
  35. Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Austria - International Center for Buddhist Studies and Meditation (
  36. Shambhala Meditation Center (
  37. a b She Drup Ling Graz, Buddhist Center (
  38. TDC-Tibet Dharma Center - Counter Dho-ngag Choeling (
  39. Tibet Center Hüttenberg - IIHTS, International Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies (
  40. Mobile Hospice - Austrian Buddhist Religious Society (
  2. a b c Federal Chancellery (Ed.): Religions in Austria . Overview of the religious communities recognized in Austria. Bundespressedienst, Vienna 2014, 2.13 Austrian Buddhist Religious Society , p. 54–56 ( pdf [accessed on June 18, 2014] editorially edited own presentation). pdf ( Memento of the original from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. a b c One pizza Buddhista, please! Work on awakening: 30 years ago, under Bruno Kreisky, the doctrine of compassion for all beings in Austria became a denominational religion. Wolfgang Koch in, April 5, 2013, sections organization in the decade of suspicion of sects and affidavit from 1000 people
  4. a b c d Constitution of the Austrian Buddhist Religious Society . Approved by decision of the Federal Ministry for Education and Cultural Affairs of January 13, 1997, GZ 6531 / 29c / 96 (doc,
  5. ^ Quote from the Federal Chancellery (ed.): Religions in Austria . 2014, p. 55 , col. 2 (pdf p. 50).
  6. a b c various formulations quoted verbatim and compiled from the program ( memento from June 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ),, accessed July 2, 2014.
  7. Other groups ( Memento from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) ,
  8. So Gerhard Weißgrab in an interview with the Wiener Zeitung, 2013 : "over 3000 people ... registered". In an interview with Weissgrab in the Wiener Zeitung in 2008 , this number was even lower: “... few registered members. We are just over 2,200 people who officially identify themselves as Buddhists based on their religion ”.
  9. W. Schandor: A religion on quiet feet . In: Wiener Zeitung , February 23, 2008.
  10. For the estimate, see also Gerhard Weißgrab, President of the Religious Society, in an interview, “More and more are looking for answers” , Nina Brnada, in Wiener Zeitung (reproduced on, February 22, 2013), on the question “How many Buddhists are currently alive in Austria?"
  11. cf. approximately speech Councilor Christian Oxonitsch, the award of the Golden Medal of the Province of Vienna for Eva Maria Zöpnek-Twardowski, Vice President of the Austrian Buddhist religious society in. Vienna: Merit for four dedicated Vienna , archive message of Rathauskorrespondenz of 16 March 2011: Today view ,
  12. cf. One Pizza Buddhista, please! Koch,, section 7,000 euros building costs per dead , 3rd paragraph.
  13. Gerhard Weißgrab, President of the Religious Society, in an interview, “More and more are looking for answers” , Nina Brnada, in Wiener Zeitung (reproduced on, February 22, 2013), on the question “How well does the dialogue between the 14 religious communities work are recognized in Austria, among each other? "
  14. For example, it is important to avoid an association between “religion” and “God” in legal texts. Compare on this, Austria Convention , 5th meeting, Friday, November 21, 2003, tape copy, p. 54 ( PDF ),, accessed June 2, 2014.
  15. Oliver Freiberger, Christoph Kleine: Buddhism: manual and critical introduction. Verlag Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010, ISBN 978-3-647-50004-1 , p. 167 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  16. Currently (2014) only one community: “The Austrian Buddhist Religious Society is initially establishing a single Buddhist community that covers the entire territory of the Republic of Austria. Its seat is Vienna. The establishment of further Buddhist communities can be decided by the Sangharat at any time. ”§ 7.9. Seat of the Constitution
  17. "in particular for the promotion and dissemination of teaching, holding religious exercises, holding seminars, possibly for setting up schools, hospitals, children, old people and nursing homes, social services or similar purposes" § 11. Institutions of the constitution
  18. ↑ The headquarters of Sayagyi U Ba Khin is the IMC-Rangoon in Myanmar
  19. Jump up ↑ Fo Guang Shan Order - Buddhist Temple , tour of the temple; A small guide (folder, pdf, → about us ).
  20. ^ The Peace Stupa Institute also tried to build a stupa in Gföhl / Lower Austria, which was rejected in a local referendum;
    Referendum: Two thirds against Buddha Tempel in Gföhl , In: Der Standard online, February 12, 2012;
    Chronicle: After the referendum: No to the stupa building in Gföhl (Lower Austria) ; Letter from the institute to diocesan bishop Dr. Küng , both, accessed June 2, 2014;
    Municipality of Gföhl: Figures for the referendum of February 12, 2012 , accessed on November 26, 2012.
  21. Yun Hwa Denomination of World Social Buddhism ; The main seat is the Lotus Buddhist Monastery in Hawaii; Yun Hwa Sangha (
  22. Headquarters is the Chungtai Chan monastery Lin Quan in Puli in central Taiwan, 中 台 世界 - Chung Tai World (
  23. a b Karma Kagyü Diamantweg formerly Karma Kagyü Austria (KKÖ); the Karma Kagyu Sangha left the KKÖ in 1997, and has also been in the Bodhi Path network since 2010 . History of the Vienna Karma Kagyu Center ,, accessed June 2, 2014.
  24. Headquarters of the international Ligmincha network is the Ligmincha Institute , Serenity Ridge, Nelson County, Virginia, USA; Ligmincha International ( .
  25. ^ Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), Portland, OR, FPMT International (
  26. ^ Wiener Zeitung 2013 . This report of a religion lesson with only two students (this group includes “up to 18 students”) states that 190 students take part in Austria and 13 teachers teach.
  27. ^ Buddhist religious instruction in Austria
  28. KPH Vienna / Krems also trains Buddhists , Niederösterreichische Nachrichten on November 21, 2017
  29. a b P. Matusek: Ways out of the crisis. Cause & Effect , 2009, 70, pp. 46–47.
  30. ^ Page no longer available , search in web archives: Ways out of the crisis@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / ,, 2009, accessed on January 6, 2009

Coordinates: 48 ° 12 ′ 36.7 ″  N , 16 ° 22 ′ 35.5 ″  E