What is the Largest Buddhist Sect on Earth Today?

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Re: What is the Largest Buddhist Sect on Earth Today?

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:53 pm

For the sake of statistics, it is easier to count monasteries, temples and community buildings. Making a headcount of ordained people is also something quite reliable as long as the government keeps track of them. However, neither monasteries nor ordination define one as belonging to this or that sect, lineage, whatnot.
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(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
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Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

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Re: What is the Largest Buddhist Sect on Earth Today?

Postby ylee111 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:09 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_by_country

Some interesting findings on wiki.

I agree in the English speaking world there are more Theravadans and Tibetan Vajrayanists than Mahayana Buddhists.

Although the Pew is said to be biased, it is one of the only agencies collecting data: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/glob ... -buddhist/

According to Wikipedia, a survey conducted in 2012 found that Jodo Shinshu was the most practiced school of Buddhism in Japan with 20% of the overall population identifying as members. Then i wonder what comes in at #2 with the remaining 46% of overall Japanese. This is the supposed source: http://www.worldcat.org/title/japanknow ... /153301537
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Re: What is the Largest Buddhist Sect on Earth Today?

Postby ylee111 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:52 am

Approximating from the data at WikiPedia, I would guestimate the following:

1) Chinese Mahayana (the Pureland/ Chan mix sanctioned by the PRC gvt)
2) Mahanikaya Order (Thailand)
3) Vietnamese Pureland Buddhism
4) Jodo Shinshu (Japan)
5) Thudhamma Nikaya (Myanmar)

I separate Chinese and Vietnamese Pureland because local spirituality influenced the practices.

In the anglosphere Internet (based on the books sold at Barnes and Noble) though the identifications would be more like:

1) "General" Tibetan Buddhism
2) Vipassana Movement
3) "General" Zen
4) Irreligious Buddhism
5) "General" Buddhism
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Re: What is the Largest Buddhist Sect on Earth Today?

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:35 pm

As mentioned earlier, I think that with these categories you are comparing apples and oranges.

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Re: What is the Largest Buddhist Sect on Earth Today?

Postby Adamantine » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:24 am

ylee111 wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_by_country

Some interesting findings on wiki.

I agree in the English speaking world there are more Theravadans and Tibetan Vajrayanists than Mahayana Buddhists.

Although the Pew is said to be biased, it is one of the only agencies collecting data: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/glob ... -buddhist/

According to Wikipedia, a survey conducted in 2012 found that Jodo Shinshu was the most practiced school of Buddhism in Japan with 20% of the overall population identifying as members. Then i wonder what comes in at #2 with the remaining 46% of overall Japanese. This is the supposed source: http://www.worldcat.org/title/japanknow ... /153301537


It's interesting the Pew study lists approx. 400 million Buddhists worldwide: Adherent.com lists only approx 376 million. These are terribly misleading figures, and don't account for the majority of Chinese Buddhists simply because some of them may also accommodate Taoism or Confucianism into their beliefs.

The link you gave for Buddhism by country on wiki certainly paints a much larger figure, as does this one at dhammawiki which gives a 'liberal' estimate of roughly 1.5-1.6 Billion Buddhists worldwide. I think that's a conservative estimate personally. Which would mean that there are an equivalent number of Buddhists to Muslims worldwide at least, probably more. That would make Buddhism the number 2 most populous religion worldwide, after Christianity. I hope Buddhism eventually gets the global respect it deserves, as the world's second most populous religious tradition.

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Buddhists_in_the_world
Area Percent Buddhist Buddhists
China, liberal est. 80.00% 1,070,893,447
China, conservative est. 50.00% 669,308,405
Japan 96.00% 122,022,837
Thailand 95.00% 62,626,649
India 3.25% 37,913,134
Sri Lanka 70.00% 14,933,050
Burma 90.00% 43,323,967
Cambodia 95.00% 13,769,578
Laos 75.00% 5,126,207
Other Asian countries 16.00% 213,492,875
Total Buddhists in Asia, lib. est. 1,584,101,744
Total Buddhists in Asia, cons. est. 1,182,516,701
U.S.A. 2.00% 6,135,071
Canada & N. Am. islands 1.10% 368,447
Total Buddhists in N. America 6,503,518
Germany 1.10% 905,657
France 1.20% 773,215
United Kingdom 1.20% 733,395
Other European countries 0.15% 785,700
Total Buddhists in Europe 3,197,966
Total Buddhists in Latin America and S. Am. 0.15% 868,929
Total Buddhists in Australia & Oceania 1.80% 618,752
Total Buddhists in Africa 0.02% 194,550
Total Buddhists in the world, liberal est. 1,595,485,458
Total Buddhists in the world, conservative est. 1,193,900,416
Approximately 1.2 billion to 1.6 billion Buddhists in the world.
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