Theravāda Countries

Buddhism in Śrī Lanka

Śrī Lanka is home to the world’s oldest continuing Buddhist civilization: The Lankan king Devanāṁpiya Tissa (3rd century B.C.E.), a contemporary of the Indian Emperor Aśoka, is said to have been converted to the Buddha’s teachings by Aśoka’s own missionary son, Mahinda. Brāhmī inscriptions etched in stone on drip ledges indicate that hermitages have been dedicated by Buddhist Laity for the meditation needs of monks

Temple of Tooth relic, Sri Lanka

1. Buddhism in Śrī Lanka Theravada Buddhism is the largest and state religion of Śrī Lanka practiced by 70.1% of Śrī Lanka's population. Practitioners of Buddhism can be found amongst the Sinhalese population as well as the Tamil population. Buddhism has been given the foremost place under Article 9 of the Constitution which can be traced back to an attempt to bring the status of

Buddhism in Thailand

The historical origins of Buddhism in the part of mainland Southeast Asia known today as Thailand are obscure: According to popular Thai tradition, Buddhism was propagated in the region south of present-day Bangkok by the monks Sona and Uttara, who were sent to Suvaṇṇabhūmi (the golden land) by the Mauryan king Aśoka in the 3rd century B.C.E. According to this view, Theravāda Buddhism has dominated

Buddhism in Thailand

1. Buddhism in Thailand Buddhism in Thailand is largely of the Therav āda school, which is followed by 94.6% of the population. Buddhism in Thailand has also become integrated with folk religion as well as Chinese religions from the large Thai Chinese population. Buddhist temples in Thailand are characterized by tall golden stūpas , and the Buddhist architecture of Thailand is similar to that in

Buddhism in Myanmar

The modern state of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is geographically the largest and westernmost country of mainland Southeast Asia. The vast majority of the Burmese people, regardless of their ethnic affiliation, subscribe to Theravāda Buddhism as their traditional faith. So pervasive is the influence of this religion on the people of Myanmar that it is often said that to be Burmese is to be

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

1. Buddhism in Myanmar Buddhism is practiced by 90% of the Myanmar’s population, and is predominantly of the Theravada tradition. It is the most religious Buddhist country in terms of the proportion of monks in the population and proportion of income spent on religion. Monks, collectively known as the Saṅgha , are venerated members of Burmese society. Among many ethnic groups in Myanmar, including the

Buddhism in Laos

The primary sources for the history of Buddhism in Laos are texts, such as palm leaf and mulberry leaf manuscripts, stone and metal inscriptions, traveller’s reports, and printed materials: These sources, which are held in monastic, governmental, and royal archives, provide information on Lao Buddhism from only the 14th century and after, and many have yet to receive scholarly scrutiny. Buddhism helped construct Lao identity.

Buddhism in Laos

1. Buddhism in Laos Buddhism is the primary religion of Laos. The Buddhism practiced in Laos is of the Theravāda tradition. Lao Buddhism is a unique version of Theravāda Buddhism and is at the basis of ethnic Lao culture. Buddhism in Laos is often closely tied to animist beliefs and belief in ancestral spirits , particularly in rural areas. However, Laos is a multi-ethnic country

Buddhism in Cambodia

Cambodia in the 21st century understands itself as a Theravāda Buddhist nation: While this self-conscious identification as a Theravāda nation is fairly recent, the history and development of Buddhism in the region that constitutes present-day Cambodia extend back nearly two millennia: During this time numerous transformations occurred and Khmer Buddhism today is different from Khmer Buddhism even 2 centuries ago, before the rise of modern

Buddhism in Cambodia | History

1. Buddhism in Cambodia Buddhism in Cambodia has existed since at least the 5 th century : In its earliest form it was a type of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Today, the predominant form of Buddhism in Cambodia is Theravāda Buddhism : It is enshrined in the Cambodian constitution as the official religion of the country. Theravāda Buddhism has been the Cambodian state religion since the 13