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Where Is Buddhism Mostly Practiced?
Buddhism is one of the world’s oldest and most influential religions. It is practiced by over 520 million people across the globe, making it the fourth-largest religion in the world. Buddhism is practiced in a variety of ways, depending on the culture and region in which it is found.
In East Asia, Buddhism is practiced predominantly in three major countries: China, Japan, and Korea. In China, Buddhism was first introduced in the first century C.E. by missionaries from India and became a key part of Chinese culture. Today, there are an estimated 230 million Buddhists in China, making it the country with the most Buddhists in the world. Buddhism is an important part of Chinese culture, with over 13,000 Buddhist temples located throughout the country.
In Japan, Buddhism came to the country during the 6th century C.E. and quickly became a central part of the Japanese culture. There are approximately 85 million Buddhists in Japan, with the two most popular forms being the Zen sect and the Nichiren sect. Buddhism has become deeply entwined with Shintoism, the traditional religion of Japan, with many Buddhists also believing in Shinto deities.
Korea also has a large Buddhist population. Buddhism was first introduced to Korea in the 4th century C.E., and today there are about 11 million Buddhists in the country. Buddhism is an important part of the Korean culture, with the majority of Koreans identifying as Buddhist or claiming Buddhist heritage. There are a large number of Buddhist temples across the country, many of which are now listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
In South Asia, Buddhism is practiced primarily in India and Sri Lanka. In India, Buddhism was first introduced in the 3rd century B.C.E. by Emperor Ashoka, who was a follower of the religion. Today, Buddhism is practiced by approximately 8 million people in India. Buddhism is often seen as a form of Hinduism, with many Buddhist temples and monasteries being built in the country.
In Sri Lanka, Buddhism is the main religion, with almost 70 percent of the population identifying as Buddhist. Buddhism has been practiced in Sri Lanka since the 3rd century B.C.E. and has become a major part of the country’s culture. There are a large number of Buddhist temples and monasteries in the country, and many Sri Lankans visit them on spiritual and cultural pilgrimages.
Finally, Buddhism is also practiced in Southeast Asia, with countries such as Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Laos having sizable Buddhist populations. Buddhism was first introduced to Thailand in the 13th century, and today there are an estimated 82 million Buddhists in the country. It is the main religion of Thailand, and Buddhist culture and temple architecture are prominent throughout the country.
In summary, Buddhism is practiced across the globe, but it is most prevalent in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Each region has its own unique customs and practices, making Buddhism a truly global religion.