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Buddhist Countries

Can you guess the countries where at least 15% of the population is Buddhist according to the Pew Research Center?
Quiz by HermanSilow
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Last updated: July 25, 2019
First submittedMay 29, 2013
Times taken48,665
Rating4.94
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% Buddhist
Answer
96.9
Cambodia
93.2
Thailand
80.1
Myanmar
74.7
Bhutan
69.3
Sri Lanka
66.0
Laos
55.1
Mongolia
% Buddhist
Answer
36.2
Japan
33.9
Singapore
22.9
South Korea
21.3
Taiwan
18.2
China
17.7
Malaysia
16.4
Vietnam
+3
level 41
Jun 24, 2013
Well that was fairly easy. I actually knew quite a few of these, but I still had to guess for some just based on geography.
+16
level 60
Jun 29, 2017
I missed Laos. That makes me feel laosy.
+1
level 41
Jun 25, 2013
Interesting quiz.. got them all right.
+1
level 32
Aug 26, 2014
Surprised India wasn't on because that's where Buddhism originated.
+5
level 77
Apr 24, 2015
gandalf is right. Religions spread and mutate and take hold in different places. Contemporary Christianity, the way we think of it today, is really not the Middle Eastern religion of Paul, and certainly not the Jewish Apocalypse/Personality Cult of Jesus, but it's actually a Roman religion, instituted by Constantine and spread to every corner of the Roman Empire using rituals, iconography, and even theology borrowed from traditional Roman polytheism. Rome, and Italy, and pretty much all of what was once the Roman Empire- the bits that were not conquered by Arabs anyway- are still predominantly Christian.

The earliest Christian communities, prior to the Roman absorption of the religion, were in Israel (now predominantly Jewish, large Muslim minority, small Christian minority), Syria (now predominantly Muslim, small Christian and tiny Jewish minorities), Turkey (predominantly Muslim), and Lebanon (mixed Muslim and Christian).
+2
level 77
Apr 24, 2015
The first officially Christian countries were Armenia (adopted in 301 AD), the Roman Empire (adopted in 313 AD), and Aksum/Abyssinia (adopted in 330 AD). The city-state of Edessa became officially Christian around 218 AD.

If we consider Italy or Vatican City to be the modern day equivalent of Rome, and Ethiopia to be the modern day equivalent of Aksum, then all of these places are still Christian today except Edessa, in Turkey, which has no modern day nation-state equivalent.
+4
level 45
Aug 27, 2015
VERY surprised Nepal wasn't on there.
+1
level 71
Feb 26, 2016
I have a feeling that all the Tibetan exiles may not be counted.
+2
level 56
Jul 7, 2018
A bit over 10 percent of Nepal's population is Buddhist, but Buddhism has been culturally influential in Nepal in ways that aren't really reflected by the small numbers. Buddhist minorities like the Sherpas and Tamang traditionally live in high mountains near Tibet; the geography doesn't support large populations, but Buddhist stupas and monasteries in Kathmandu have drawn pilgrims for over a thousand years, drawing Tibetans as well as Sherpas etc. Plus the community native to Kathmandu, the Newars, is part Hindu and part Buddhist (based on family lineage) and has a lot of intermingling of Buddhist and Hindu practices in unique ways. Also, Nepal is 81% Hindu and Hindus view Buddha as a form of Vishnu; I think that sense is even more prominent in Nepal because of pride in being Buddha's birthplace. So even though most Nepalis don't tick the "Buddhist" box on the census, Buddha occupies a powerful place in national identity.
+1
level 40
Jun 10, 2016
hi bhutan hi...forgot you for some reason
+1
level 45
Feb 6, 2017
forgot my own country lol (Sri Lanka)
+2
level 72
Mar 27, 2017
Nepal?
+1
level 71
Mar 27, 2017
Very interesting quiz
+1
level 71
Mar 28, 2017
I'm actually surprised that Vietnam is only 16%. Usually where there are indigenous religions, Buddhism just sort of syncretically absorbs/adapts them.
+1
level 69
Jun 29, 2017
Communists there tried to crack down on it a lot. Same happened in China in the past. Even the communists in Laos tried, but people there took Buddhism so seriously there that the government had to stop.
+1
level 57
Jun 19, 2017
I don't know how they got these figures, but Vietnam is a lot higher than 16%.
+1
level 18
Jun 19, 2017
INDIA ?
+1
level 45
Jun 29, 2017
100%, 0:58 remaining
+2
level 59
Jun 29, 2017
To any comments wondering why East Asian countries have such low percentages, a lot of people there are irreligious (Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam).
+2
level 67
Sep 28, 2017
I would say 'have no religion', irreligious tends to sound hostile.
+2
level 57
Sep 16, 2018
Why would it sound hostile?
+1
level 62
Jan 28, 2019
I dont know but it does. Maybe because many words with -i(r) are negative, irresponsible, immoral. -un is much more neutral, or even non.
+1
level 51
Aug 27, 2019
is there a difference between irreligious and atheist?
+1
level 57
Aug 27, 2019
Yes. Atheism is lacking belief in a god or gods, and irreligious means following no religion. Buddhists, for example, are mostly atheist but not irreligious. I know someone who believes in God but doesn't follow any religion. He would be irreligious but not atheist.
+1
level 69
Jun 29, 2017
I was expecting Bhutan to be 95%+. Are there lots of indigenous religions there too?
+1
level 80
Jun 29, 2017
A lot of people in the southern part practice Hinduism.
+1
level 65
Jun 29, 2017
I expected Nepal to be one of the countries.
+1
level 32
Jun 29, 2017
that quiz was fun, looking forward to more religion ones
+1
level 44
Jun 30, 2017
Crap, forgot Singapore
+1
level 11
Jul 20, 2017
I missed out Mongolia
+1
level 52
Nov 9, 2017
According to the data - Macau has 17.3% Buddhist population, so it should be on the list.
+1
level 48
Mar 15, 2018
but it's not a country... :D
+1
level 45
Dec 24, 2017
Missed cambodia and malaysia.....
+1
level 58
Jul 9, 2019
I thought Nepal was majority Buddhist.
+1
level ∞
Jul 25, 2019
Hindu, actually