Christianity and Buddhism

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Religion is the moral compass of many; their reason for being and the motive to their everyday actions. Religious practices often become as much of a cultural experience as they do a spiritual one. Christianity and Buddhism are vastly different from each other yet they have one common goal, to live a peaceful existence.

Christianity was formed in 33 AD in Jerusalem by Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be god in human form, while Buddhism was formed sometime in the late sixth-century B.C.E. by a man in India named Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, after his spiritual realization(Diffen,;Vail; Adamson). Both Buddhism and Christianity convey the messages of morality, justice, and love(. Christianity is a monotheistic religion, as its believers only believe in one God; Buddhists believe in several gods. The intent of Buddhism is to be liberated from the cycle of life and death by reaching an enlightened state called nirvana. The main idea of Christianity is to love and obey God and form a bond with Him through his son Jesus by spreading the idea of Christianity so others can be delivered as well(Diffen).

The basic principles of Christianity are based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the son of God, in opposition to Buddhism that is based on the life and teachings of Gautama, a normal man from India who never declared himself divine. Many believe that Buddhists worship Buddha but in Buddhism, there is no God; there is no judgment day which is a huge contrast to the belief of Christians which is that there is a God, an all-powerful God, who will come to earth to judge them for all of their sins. Buddhists do not believe in the concept of sin while confessing to your sins is a staple of the Christian faith(ETB; Adamson). Buddhists believe that the never-ending cycle of death, birth, and rebirth are caused by a person's desires, oppositions, and misunderstandings. Christians believe that sin is caused by lust and bad deeds with the notion that their sins are forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus(Adamson).

Buddhists believe that when one dies they are then reborn to begin the cycle of death, birth, and rebirth that can only be discontinued by reaching Nirvana. By reaching Nirvana one has escaped suffering indefinitely(Diffen). The Christian faith believes that after one dies their soul leaves earth and goes to either Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory and spends the rest of eternity there. Christians believe that they will be delivered through the life, death, and sacrifice of Christ while Buddhists believe that they will reach Nirvana on their own accord by living an honorable life. (Diffen).

Both Christianity and Buddhism are two of the most practiced religions in the world. As of 2017, 2.3 billion of the world's population practices Christianity, 0.5 billion being Buddhists(Hackett, McLendon). The Buddhist population is 500-600 million while the Christian has over 200 billion followers worldwide(Diffen). The majority of the world's Buddhist population is located in Asian countries like Thailand, India, Japan, China, and Korea while the majority of the Christian population is located in the United States, South America, Europe, Austrailia, and New Zealand(Diffen).

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Christianity and Buddhism. (2019, Jun 16). Retrieved June 25, 2024 , from

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