Percentage of Buddhists by country, according to the Pew Research Center.

Distribution of the Buddhist population worldwide

EN English English

Buddhism is the dominant religion in Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Tibet, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Kalmykia and Vietnam.

Large Buddhist populations live in North Korea, Nepal, India and South Korea.

China is the country with the largest population of Buddhists, approximately 244 million or 18.2% of its total population.

Table of Contents

The largest body of Buddhist schools

They are mostly followers of Chinese schools of Mahayana, making this the largest body of Buddhist traditions.

Mahayana, also practiced in broader East Asia, is followed by over half of the world’s Buddhists.

The second largest body of Buddhist schools is Theravada, mostly followed in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.

The third largest body of schools Vajrayana, is followed mostly in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Mongolia and parts of Russia, but is disseminated throughout the world.

The fourth largest body of Buddhist schools is Navayana, mostly followed in Maharashtra, India.

According to scholar Peter Harvey, the number of adherents of Eastern Buddhism (Mahayana) is 360 million, Southern Buddhism (Theravada) 150 million, and Northern Buddhism (Vajrayana) 18.2 million. Seven million additional Buddhists are found outside Asia.

Buddhism around the world

Chinese Buddhism

or Han Buddhism is a Chinese form of Mahayana Buddhism which has shaped Chinese in a wide variety of areas including art, politics, literature, philosophy, medicine and material culture. Chinese Buddhism is the largest institutionalized religion in Mainland China. Currently, there are an estimated 185 to 250 million Chinese Buddhists in the People’s Republic of China It is also a major religion in Taiwan and among the Chinese Diaspora.

Buddhism in Japan

Buddhism has been practiced in Japan since about the 6th century CE. Japanese Buddhism created many new Buddhist schools, and some schools are original to Japan and some are derived from Chinese Buddhist schools. Japanese Buddhism has had a major influence on Japanese society and culture and remains an influential aspect to this day.

Buddhism in Nepal

started spreading since the reign of Ashoka through Indian and Tibetan missionaries. The Kiratas were the first people in Nepal who embraced Gautama Buddha’s teachings, followed by the Licchavis and Newars. Buddha was born in Lumbini in the Shakya Kingdom. Lumbini is considered to lie in present-day Rupandehi district, Lumbini zone of Nepal. Buddhism is the second-largest religion in Nepal. According to 2011 census, the Buddhist population in Nepal is 9% of the country population. It has not been possible to assign with certainty the year in which Prince Siddhartha, the birth name of the Buddha, was born, it is usually placed at around 563 BCE. According to 2001 census, 10.74% of Nepal’s population practice Buddhism, consisting mainly of Tibeto-Burman-speaking ethnicities, the Newar. In Nepal’s hill and mountain regions Hinduism has absorbed Buddhist tenets to such an extent that in many cases they have shared deities as well as temples. For instance, the Muktinath Temple is sacred and a common house of worship for both Hindus and Buddhists.

Buddhism in Mongolia

Buddhism is the largest religion of Mongolia practiced by 53% of Mongolia’s population, according to the 2010 Mongolia census. derives much of its recent characteristics from Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelug and Kagyu lineages, but is distinct and presents its own unique characteristics.

Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Theravada Buddhism is the largest and official religion of Sri Lanka, practiced by 82.2% of the population as of 2022.

Buddhism in Southeast Asia

includes a variety of traditions of Buddhism including two main traditions: Mahāyāna Buddhism and Theravāda Buddhism. Historically, Mahāyāna Buddhism had a prominent position in this region, but in modern times most countries follow the Theravāda tradition. Southeast Asian countries with a Theravāda Buddhist majority are Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, all mainland countries.

Buddhism in Hong Kong

Buddhism is a major religion in Hong Kong and has been greatly influential in the traditional culture of its populace. Among the most prominent Buddhist temples in the city there are the Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill, built in the Tang Dynasty’s architectural style; the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, famous for the outdoor bronze statue, Tian Tan Buddha, which attracts a large number of visitors during the weekends and holidays.

Buddhism in Vietnam

, as practiced by the ethnic Vietnamese, is mainly of the Mahayana tradition and is the main religion. Buddhism may have first come to Vietnam as early as the 3rd or 2nd century BCE from the Indian subcontinent or from China in the 1st or 2nd century CE. Vietnamese Buddhism has had a syncretic relationship with certain elements of Taoism, Chinese spirituality, and Vietnamese folk religion.

Buddhism in Thailand

is largely of the Theravada school, which is followed by 95 percent of the population. Thailand has the second largest Buddhist population in the world, after China, with approximately 64 million Buddhists. 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 stupas, and the Buddhist architecture of Thailand is similar to that in other Southeast Asian countries, particularly Cambodia and Laos, with which Thailand shares cultural and historical heritage. Thai Buddhism also shares many similarities with Sri Lankan Buddhism. Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Laos are countries with Theravada Buddhist majorities

Buddhism in Indonesia

Buddhism has a long history in Indonesia, and is recognized as one of six official religions in Indonesia, along with Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Confucianism. According to the 2018 national census roughly 0.8% of the total citizens of Indonesia were Buddhists, and numbered around more than 2 million. Most Buddhists are concentrated in Jakarta, Riau, Riau Islands, Bangka Belitung, North Sumatra, and West Kalimantan. These totals, however, are probably inflated, as practitioners of Taoism and Chinese folk religion, which are not considered official religions of Indonesia, likely declared themselves as Buddhists on the most recent census. Today, the majority of Buddhists in Indonesia are Chinese, however small numbers of native also exist.

Korean Buddhism

is distinguished from other forms of Buddhism by its attempt to resolve what its early practitioners saw as inconsistencies within the Mahayana Buddhist traditions that they received from foreign countries. To address this, they developed a new holistic approach to Buddhism that became a distinct form, an approach characteristic of virtually all major Korean thinkers. The resulting variation is called Tongbulgyo, a form that sought to harmonize previously arising disputes among scholars.

Buddhism in Cambodia

or Khmer Buddhism has existed since at least the 5th century. In its earliest form it was a type of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Today, the predominant form of Buddhism in Cambodia is Theravada Buddhism. It is enshrined in the Cambodian constitution as the official religion of the country. Theravada Buddhism has been the Cambodian state religion since the 13th century .As of 2013 it was estimated that 97.9 percent of the population was Buddhist.

Buddhism in Switzerland

According to the 2000 census of Switzerland, 21,305 Swiss residents self-identified as Buddhists. About a third of them were born in Thailand.

Buddhism in Poland

The roots of can be found in the early 20th century in the nation’s connections to the origin countries of the religion, like Vietnam, China, Japan, and Korea. After World War II, primarily expatriate Poles joined various Buddhist groups and organizations. Since the breakdown of the Eastern Bloc, which had promoted an antireligious campaign, Buddhism has been able to develop further in the more tolerant atmosphere.

Buddhism in Russia

Historically, Buddhism was incorporated into Siberia in the early 17th century. Buddhism is considered as one of Russia’s traditional religions, legally a part of Russian historical heritage. Besides the historical monastic traditions of Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tuva, Buddhism is now widespread all over Russia, with many ethnic Russian converts.

Buddhism in Saudi Arabia

The International Religious Freedom Report 2007, of U.S. Department of State, estimated that more than 8 million foreigners are living and working in Saudi Arabia, including Muslims and non-Muslims.

Buddhism in Scotland

is a relatively recent phenomenon. In Scotland Buddhists represent 0.24% of the population or around 13,000 people.

Buddhism in Senegal

In Senegal, Mahayana Buddhism is followed by a very tiny portion of the Vietnamese community, but it is informal Buddhism because they only worship their ancestors by burning the incenses on a small altar and in the end of all prayers are: “Nam mô A Di Đà Phật” as traditional of Vietnamese faith that is Bodhisattvas as Địa Tạng Vương Bồ tát and Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát will bless and teach the spirits of dead people how to take a better life in next incarnations or go to Nirvana forever.

Buddhism in Singapore

is the largest religion in Singapore, practiced by approximately 31.1% of the population as of 2020. In 2015, out of 3,276,190 Singaporeans polled, 1,087,995 (33.21%) of them identified themselves as Buddhists.

Buddhism in Slovakia

Buddhism is not officially recognized as a religion in Slovakia. The 2013 census findings included Buddhism under “other religions,”.There are 59000 Buddhist in Slovakia

Buddhism in Slovenia

Buddhism is a legally recognized religion in Slovenia and it is followed by more than 1,000 Slovenes, though no official numbers are established as the previous census did not include Buddhism specifically. Although still small in absolute numbers, enjoys widespread acceptance if not popularity.

Buddhism in South Africa

Buddhist traditions are represented in South Africa in many forms. Although the inherently introspective nature of Buddhism does not encourage census, adherents to these traditions are usually outspoken and supported by perhaps an even greater, though hidden number of sympathisers. Temples, centres and groups are common in the metropolitan areas and the country is thought to comprise the largest Buddhist community in Africa.

Buddhism in Belgium

Buddhism is a small religion in Belgium but despite lack of official recognition by the Belgian government has grown rapidly in recent years. As of the 1997 estimate, 29,497 Belgian people identified their religion as Buddhist

Buddhism in Bangladesh

Buddhists form about 0.9% of the population of Bangladesh. It is said that Buddha once in his life came to this region of East Bengal to spread his teachings and he was successful in converting the local people to Buddhism. About 1.5 million people in Bangladesh adhere to the Theravada school of Buddhism. Over 65% of the Buddhist population is concentrated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, where it is the predominant faith of the Rakhine, Chakma, Marma, Tanchangya, other Jumma people and the Barua. The remaining 35% are Bengali Buddhists. Buddhist communities are present in the urban centers of Bangladesh, particularly Chittagong and Dhaka.

Buddhism in Sweden

Buddhism is a relatively small religion in Sweden. Most of the practicing Buddhists have various Asian heritage. In 2015, the Swedish Buddhist Cooperation Council had 7 901 members.

Buddhism in Taiwan

Buddhism is one of the major religions of Taiwan. Taiwanese people predominantly practice Mahayana Buddhism, Confucian principles, local practices and Taoist tradition. Roles for religious specialists from both Buddhist and Taoist traditions exist on special occasions such as for childbirth and funerals. Of these, a smaller number identify more specifically with Chinese Buddhist teachings and institutions, without necessarily eschewing practices from other Asian traditions. Around 35% of the population believes in Buddhism.

Buddhism in Norway

has existed since the beginning of the 1970s, after immigration from countries with Buddhist populations, mainly Vietnam. Buddhistforbundet in Norway was established as a religious society in 1979 by two Buddhist groups who wanted to create a common organization to preserve issues of common interest. As of 2013, there are over 30 to 50 thousand registered Buddhists in Norway. Around 5% of them are ethnic Norwegians.

Buddhism in Austria

Buddhism is a legally recognized religion in Austria. Although still small in absolute numbers, enjoys widespread acceptance. A majority of Buddhists in the country are Austrian nationals, while a considerable number of them are foreign nationals.

Buddhism in the Americas

may refer to:North America: South America:

Buddhism in the Czech Republic

With a rough estimate of fifty thousand Buddhists, Buddhism is practiced by around 0.5% of the Czech population. The World Buddhist Directory lists 70 Buddhist places in the Czech Republic.

Buddhism in the Maldives

Buddhism was the predominant religion in the Maldives until at least the 12th century CE. It is not clear how and when Buddhism was introduced into the islands.

Buddhism in the Netherlands

Buddhism is a small minority religion in the Netherlands, but it has shown rapid growth in recent years. As of the 2006 estimate, 170,000 Dutch people identified their religion as Buddhist.

Buddhism in the United Kingdom

has a small but growing number of adherents which, according to a Buddhist organisation, is mainly a result of conversion. In the UK census for 2011, there were about 247,743 people who registered their religion as Buddhism, and about 174,000 who cited religions other than Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Jainism and Sikhism. This latter figure is likely to include some people who follow the traditional Chinese folk religion which also includes some elements of Buddhism.

Buddhism in the United States

The term American Buddhism can be used to describe all Buddhist groups within the United States, including Asian-American Buddhists born into the faith, who comprise the largest percentage of Buddhists in the country.

Buddhism in Ukraine

Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in Ukraine. It has existed since the 19th and 20th century, after immigration from countries with Buddhist populations, mainly North Vietnam and Korea under Communist period. Although sources are not readily available, Buddhists are believed to constitute 0.1% of the total population in Ukraine.

Buddhism in Uzbekistan

Buddhism is practiced by about 0.2% of the population of Uzbekistan, according to the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report 2004. Most are ethnic Koreans. Officially only one Buddhist denomination is registered in Uzbekistan, also there is a Buddhist temple in Tashkent.

Buddhism in Venezuela

Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people. The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.

Buddhism in Australia

In Australia, Buddhism is a minority religion. According to the 2016 census, 2.4 percent of the total population of Australia identified as Buddhist. It was also the fastest-growing religion by percentage, having increased its number of adherents by 79 percent between the 1996 and 2001 censuses. The highest percentage of Buddhists in Australia is present in Christmas Island, where Buddhists constitute 18.1% of the total population according to the 2016 Census. Buddhism is the third largest religion in the country after Christianity and Islam.

Buddhism in Argentina

Buddhism in Argentina has been practiced since the early 1980s.

History of Buddhism in India

Buddhism is an ancient Indian religion, which arose in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha, and is based on the teachings of the Gautama Buddha who was deemed a “Buddha”, although Buddhist doctrine holds that there were other Buddhas before him. Buddhism spread outside of Magadha starting in the Buddha’s lifetime.

Buddhism in Pakistan

took root some 2,300 years ago under the Mauryan king Ashoka who sent missionaries to the Kashmira-Gandhara region of North West Pakistan extending into Afghanistan, following the Third Buddhist council in Pataliputra.

Buddhism in Nicaragua

Buddhism in Nicaragua has existed since the late 19th century, after immigration from countries with Buddhist populations, mainly China. Although sources are not readily available, Buddhists are believed to constitute 0.1% of the total population in Nicaragua.

Buddhism in Canada

Buddhism is among the smallest minority-religions in Canada, with a very slowly growing population in the country, partly the result of conversion, with only 4.6% of new immigrants identifying themselves as Buddhist. As of 2011, the census recorded 366,830 or 1.1% Canadian Buddhists.

Buddhism in Brunei

Buddhism is the third largest religion in Brunei, after the majority state religion of Islam, and the slightly larger minority religion Christianity. Estimates vary, but some reports place the number of Buddhists in Brunei around 30,000, and the estimated percentage of Buddhists in Brunei around 7-8% of the total population. According to Brunei’s official 2016 data, 7% (29,495) of the population practices Buddhism.

Buddhism in Central America

Buddhism is practiced throughout Central America. Buddhism’s presence in the region was primarily driven by the presence of Chinese immigrant workers during the early 19th century. Presently, Buddhism in the region is primarily of the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools, with many countries in the region having several Buddhist temples, schools, and meditation centers.

Buddhism in Central Asia

refers to the forms of Buddhism that existed in Central Asia, which were historically especially prevalent along the Silk Road. The history of Buddhism in Central Asia is closely related to the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism during the first millennium of the common era.

Buddhism in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has more Buddhists than the other countries in Central America with almost 100,000, followed closely by Panama, with almost 70,000.

Buddhism in Croatia

The first Croatian Buddhist group was founded in Zagreb in the 80’s. Several groups have formed since, affiliated with different traditions. Estimates of the number of Buddhists in Croatia vary from 500 to 1000, depending on the definition. At present, active Buddhist groups are working to establish foundational practices and communities in major cities. Traditions represented presently are Nyingma and Rime (nonsectarian) of Tibetan Buddhism, Shingon and Zen of Japanese Buddhism, and Ch’an of Chinese Buddhism.

Buddhism in Cuba

Buddhism can be practiced in Cuba. Traditionally, most religious people in Cuba practice Christianity or other Indigenous religions. Some Buddhist figures have traveled to the country in the past, no big problems have arisen to this point. Originally brought by the Chinese immigrants, it is now practiced in communities monitored overseas. The number of practitioners is small.

Buddhism in Denmark

Buddhism is a minority religion in Denmark with approximately 64,000 members (1.1%) in 2018.

Buddhism in Europe

Although there was regular contact between practising Buddhists and Europeans in antiquity the former had little direct impact. In the latter half of the 19th century, Buddhism came to the attention of Western intellectuals and during the course of the following century the number of adherents has grown. There are now between 1 and 4 million Buddhists in Europe, the majority in Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Buddhism in Finland

represents a very small percentage of that nation’s religious practices. In 2015 there were estimated less than 10 000 followers of Buddhism in Finland. It’s, however, hard to evaluate the exact amount of the Buddhists as many donations officially belong to a religious congregation and some of them are registered as associations rather than congregations. Furthermore, it’s hard to say how many people are born into the religion and how many converts there are.

Buddhism in France

Buddhism is the third largest religion in France, after Christianity and Islam.

Buddhism in Bulgaria

Buddhism is a small minority religion in Bulgaria, with about a thousand practitioners.The Vietnamese community in Bulgaria traditionally practices Mahayana Buddhism alongside Ancestor Worship, but the population of this community, which mostly hails from North Vietnam, has declined from tens of thousands before 1990 to around 1,000 now. Some Buddhist believers in Bulgaria are of Chinese descent. A small number of native Bulgarians are converting to Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism.

Buddhism in Hungary

has existed since 1951 when Ernő Hetényi founded the Buddhist Mission in Germany, as a member of the Arya Maitreya Mandala Buddhist order. However, the first Buddhist community had been founded in the 1890s in Máramarossziget. József Hollósy took refuge and wrote Buddhista Kátét (1893) — the first Buddhist catechism in Hungarian. According to this, the has been present in Hungary for more than a century. In 1933 the Hungarian philologist and Orientalist — author of the first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book Sándor Kőrösi Csoma — was recognised as a bodhisattva in Japan. In Hungary József Hollósy is regarded as the second bodhisattva.

Buddhism in Iceland

is followed by 0.43% of the population of Iceland, according to the 2021 Census. Buddhism has existed since the 1990s after immigration from countries with Buddhist populations, mainly Thailand. As of 2008, there are three Buddhist organizations in Iceland officially recognized as religious organizations by the Icelandic government. The oldest and largest is the Buddhist Association of Iceland, a Theravada group, which was recognized in 1996 and had 880 members in 2010. Another group, Zen in Iceland – Night Pasture, a Zen group, was recognized in 1999 and had 75 members in 2010. The most recent group is, SGI in Iceland, a Soka Gakkai group, which was recognized in 2008 with 135 members.

Buddhism in Iran

dates back to the 2nd century, when Parthian Buddhist missionaries, such as An Shigao and An Xuan, were active in spreading Buddhism in China. Many of the earliest translators of Buddhist literature into Chinese were from Parthia and other kingdoms linked with present-day Iran.

Buddhism in New Zealand

Buddhism is New Zealand’s third-largest religion after Christianity and Hinduism standing at 1.5% of the population of New Zealand. Buddhism originates in Asia and was introduced to New Zealand by immigrants from East Asia.

Buddhism in Italy

is the third most spread religion, next to Christianity and Islam. According to Caritas Italiana, in the country there are 160,000 Buddhists, that is to say the 0.3% of the total population.

Buddhism in Brazil

With nearly 250,000 Buddhists, Brazil is home to the third-largest Buddhist population in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Buddhism in Brazil consists of practitioners from various Buddhist traditions and schools. A number of Buddhist organisations and groups are also active in Brazil, with nearly 150 temples spread across the states.

Buddhism in Kyrgyzstan

Buddhism reached Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia via the Great Silk Road. Archaeologists have found traces of Buddhist influence along this ancient trade route. The most famous Buddhist sites in Kyrgyzstan are the Krasnaya, Rechka and Novopokrovka mounds, where statues of the Buddha have been found.

Buddhism in Laos

Theravada Buddhism is the largest religion in Laos, which is practiced by 66% of the population. Lao Buddhism is a unique version of Theravada Buddhism and is at the basis of ethnic Lao culture. is often closely tied to animist beliefs and belief in ancestral spirits, particularly in rural areas.

Buddhism in Libya

Libya’s 2007 census has over 15,010 workers from Sri Lanka and some other Buddhist countries which made up about 0.3% of total population of Libya. This makes Libya the country with the one of highest proportion of Buddhists in North Africa. Although Libya does not have any Buddhist pagodas or temples.Theravada Buddhists make up two-thirds and are primarily Sinhalese while the remaining third follow East Asian Buddhism are Korean or Chinese nationals.

Buddhism in Liechtenstein

According to the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report 2006; there are 72 Buddhists in Liechtenstein or 0.22% of the total population as of 2002. It could be the smallest Buddhist community in the World.

Buddhism in Lithuania

The roots of can be traced to the 20th century, although the time of its first introduction there remains unknown. Zen Buddhism practiced in Lithuania today originated in Korea. There are a few active communities across the country including Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys and Šakiai.

Buddhism in Malaysia

Buddhism is the second largest religion in Malaysia, after Islam, with 19.8% of Malaysia’s population being Buddhist, although some estimates put that figure at 21.6% when combining estimates of numbers of Buddhists with figures for adherents of Chinese religions which incorporate elements of Buddhism. is mainly practised by the ethnic Malaysian Chinese, but there are also Malaysian Siamese, Malaysian Sri Lankans and Burmese in Malaysia that practice Buddhism such as Ananda Krishnan and K. Sri Dhammananda and a sizeable population of Malaysian Indians.

Buddhism in Mexico

Buddhism is a minority religion in Mexico, numbering 108,701 followers or 0.09% of the total Mexican population.

Buddhism in Africa

Buddhism, is practiced in Africa. Though there have been some conversion amongst Africans, most of the Buddhists in Africa are of Asian descent, mostly Chinese, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan or Japanese.

Buddhism in Morocco

is a small religious minority in the kingdom of Morocco. Estimates for the number of Buddhists in Morocco range from a few dozen, to under 0.01% of the population. The Pew Forum estimates that about 0.1% of Morocco’s population is Buddhist.

Buddhism in Myanmar

Buddhism, specifically Theravāda Buddhism, is practiced by nearly 90% of the population of Myanmar, 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. Adherents are most likely found among the dominant Bamar people, Shan, Rakhine, Mon, Karen, and Chinese who are well integrated into Burmese society. Monks, collectively known as the sangha (community), are venerated members of Burmese society. Among many ethnic groups in Myanmar, including the Bamar and Shan, Theravada Buddhism is practiced in conjunction with the worship of nats, which are spirits who can intercede in worldly affairs.

Buddhism in Bhutan

Buddhism is the most widely practiced religion in Bhutan. Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan, and Buddhists comprise 75% and Hinduism 23% of its population. Although the Buddhism practiced in Bhutan originated in Tibetan Buddhism, it differs significantly in its rituals, liturgy, and monastic organization. The state religion has long been supported financially by the government through annual subsidies to Buddhist monasteries, shrines, monks, and nuns. In the modern era, support of the state religion during the reign of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck includes the manufacture of 10,000 gilded bronze images of the Buddha, publication of elegant calligraphic editions of the 108-volume Kangyur and the 225-volume Tengyur, and the construction of numerous chorten (stupas) throughout the country. Guaranteed representation in the National Assembly and the Royal Advisory Council, Buddhists constitute the majority of society and are assured an influential voice in public policy.

Buddhism in Afghanistan

Buddhism, an Indian religion founded by Gautama Buddha, first arrived in modern-day Afghanistan through the conquests of Ashoka, the third emperor of the Maurya Empire. Among the earliest notable sites of Buddhist influence in the country is a bilingual mountainside inscription in Greek and Aramaic that dates back to 260 BCE and was found on the rocky outcrop of Chil Zena near Kandahar. The religion was widespread in the areas that were located to the south of the Hindu Kush mountain range.

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