Buddhism in America

Buddhism has experienced tremendous growth in the United States over recent decades, due to a multitude of factors including religious diversity, migration, religious freedom, international travel, and the internet. The first significant event regarding Buddhism in America was in 1893 with the Parliament of the World's Religions held in Chicago. This marked the first time delegates from Buddhist nations such as Japan, China, and Thailand were given a public forum in the United States. This was also the first exposure of many American Christians to Buddhism. Over the next 50 years, Japan would send significant numbers of Buddhists to the United States to spread Buddhism to the American public. Zen Buddhism, in particular, was received well, primarily due to the efforts of D. T. Suzuki, who began to write books in English on Zen Buddhism including, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (1949). A great variety of forms of Buddhism exist in the United States; immigrants from China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Sri Lanka, and others have all brought distinct regional varieties of Buddhism to America. The majority of Buddhists in America are of Asian descent, but the number of non-Asian American Buddhists continues increase. There are also many Americans who identify themselves as Christian or Jewish who incorporate Buddhist practices and concepts into their religious lives.

Quick Facts

Formed 1850
Adherents 4,000,000 - 5,000,000
Deity None (N/A)
Sacred Text Various Buddhist texts of different traditions
Origin United States
Headquarters None
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