In the yearly phase (1520s) and again in the 1560s, great parts of Upper- and Lower-Austria´s, Styria´s, Corinthia´s and Krain´s nobility converted to
Protestantism. Only western Austria (meaning Tyrol and Vorarlberg) remained Catholic. In opposing the Catholic church, the nobility´s hope was to get a share of the church´s properties/land. They therefore also stood in
opposition to their Catholic Emperor. However due to the fact that Turkish troops had regularly raided Austria, the Emperor did not have enough money to put pressure on his Protestant nobility. More than that: the Catholic
church could keep its influence as e.g. Emperor Ferdinand I., was fanatically fighting the Lutherans in his country. He had already banned Protestant books on 12. March 1523. However this only led to an increased consumption of
the writings. In 1524, the first Lutheran heratic was decapitated in Vienna and his dead body burned publically. In the following years further mandates against the Protestants were laid down. Strangely enough, the conversion
to Protestantism was facilitated by the church. This was because they allowed the nobility to decide over their subjects´ religion by themselves -
and the farmers usually followed the religion of their local authorities. So Emperor Maximilian II., King of Upper- and Lower-Austria, Bohemia and Hungary until 1576, had to promise his father Ferdinand I. to remain Catholic, however he granted the nobility the freedom of religion. This also comprised their subjects´ belief.