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An update from Evaneos

Buddhist majority in Bhutan

You will instantly notice during your stay in Bhutan , that Buddhism is by far the main religion .


No sooner have you arrived in the country, than the proof will stare you in the face and the impression will be confirmed throughout your stay in Bhutan , here Buddhism is by far the main religion. You need only count the impressive number of monasteries all over the country to end up convinced. It is hardly an exageration to say that you will just about find one at every street corner . And yet, this does not even take into consideration the number of temples.

On top of being the number one religion, Buddhism is also the state religion. To be more precise, it should be noted that the Buddhism practised in Bhutan is Mahayana Buddhism, also known as "Great Vehicle Buddhism". It is in fact Tibetan Buddhism practised in its tantric form. You will also hear it described as Lamaism. In actual fact, Bhutan is the one and only country in the world where this type of "Great Vehicle Buddhism" is the official religion. The latest statistics and the last official census in Bhutan affirm that 75% of the population practise this Lama Buddhism.

In Bhutan

The different religions

In the face of the indisputable predominance of Buddhism, the other religions are well in the minority.

Only the Hindus with about 21% of the population are well represented. The Hinduism practised here in Bhutan is Indian Hinduism with a touch of Nepalese influence.

For their part, animists represent just under 4% of the population, with just over 1% representing diverse religions.

Christians only account for a tiny proportion of the population at 0.5%. Amongst them an even smaller proportion is Catholic. Protestants are a little more numerous. In a country considered peaceful by many, you need to be aware that Christians are often and unfortunately quite regularly the target of numerous persecutions .

David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 28 October 2015
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