Buddhism in Africa

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Nan Hua Temple in Bronkhorstspruit, South Africa is the largest Buddhist pagoda in Africa.

Buddhism, as a major world religion, is practiced in Africa. Though there have been some conversion amongst Africans, most of the Buddhists in Africa, are of Asian, mostly Chinese, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan or Japanese descent.

South Africa is holding the largest Buddhist population in the continent. According to the 2010s estimates, Buddhist adherents (included Taoism and Chinese Folk Religion) áre increasing to between 0.2%[1] 0.3%[2] of the South African population, or between 100 to 150 thousand people while the number of practicing Buddhists maybe low.

The African countries and territories in the Indian Ocean are also having significant Buddhist minorities. Mauritius has the highest Buddhist percentage (between 1.5[3] to 2%[4] of the total population) among African countries due to high number of Chinese people (nearly 40 thousands or 3% of the Mauritian population[5]). But the number of practicing Buddhists is only about 0.4%.[6] And Madagascar is also home of about 20 thousand Buddhists[7] (or about 0.1%[8] of the total population). In the Seychelles and Réunion, Buddhists represented about 0.1%[9][10] to 0.2%[1][11] of the island populations.

In North Africa, about 0.3%[1][12] (or about 20 thousand people) of the Libya's population are also Buddhists (mostly foreign workers from Asia). There are also two Buddhist centers in Casablanca, Morocco.[13]

There are some Buddhist centers or temples can be found in Sub-Saharan African countries like: Botswana,[14] Cameroon,[15] Cote d'Ivoire,[16] Ghana,[17] Guinea,[18] Kenya,[19] Lesotho,[20] Liberia,[21] Malawi,[22] Mali,[23] Namibia,[24] Nigeria,[25] Senegal, Sierra Leone,[26] Swaziland,[27] Tanzania,[28] Togo,[29] Uganda,[30] Zambia,[31] and Zimbabwe.[32]

There have also been cases of some high profile celebrities converting to Buddhism such as Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, a famous British actor of Nigerian descent.[33]

One of the very few monastics of African descent is Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita from Uganda, founder of the Uganda Buddhist Centre.

Buddhist population by country[edit]

Countries/Territories Practicing Buddhism
(2010's estimates)[34]
Chinese Folk Religions
(2010's estimates)[35]
Combined numbers
Eastern Africa
 Burundi - - -
 Comoros - - -
 Djibouti - - -
 Eritrea - - -
 Ethiopia 1,327 - 1,327
 Kenya 1,276 1,945 3,221
 Madagascar 5,178 10,357 15,535
 Malawi available[22][36] - -
 Mauritius 3,222 17,292 20,514
 Mayotte (France) - - -
 Mozambique 2,035 4,341 6,376
 Réunion (France) 1,570 - 1,570
 Rwanda - - -
 Seychelles available[9] available[10] -
 Somalia - - -
 South Sudan - - -
 Tanzania 10,157 23,699 33,856
 Uganda 2,005 4,278 6,283
 Zambia 3,927 8,377 12,304
 Zimbabwe 189 402 591
Central Africa
 Angola 1,632 162 1,794
 Cameroon 353 753 1,106
 Central African Republic - - -
 Chad 1,684 3,593 5,277
 Republic of the Congo - 283 283
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 3,734 - -
 Equatorial Guinea - - -
 Gabon - - -
 São Tomé and Príncipe - - -
Northern Africa
 Algeria 5,320 11,350 16,670
 Egypt 1,687 - -
 Libya 20,209 1,773 21,982
 Morocco available[13] - -
 Sudan 982 2,094 3,076
 Tunisia 79 168 247
 Western Sahara - - -
Southern Africa
 Botswana 1,120 111 1,231
 Lesotho available[20] - -
 Namibia available[24] - -
 South Africa 159,220 35,589 194,809
 Swaziland available[27] - -
Western Africa
 Benin - - -
 Burkina Faso available[37] - -
 Cape Verde - - -
 Côte d'Ivoire 9,869 - -
 Gambia - - -
 Ghana 488 707 1,195
 Guinea 8,983 - -
 Guinea-Bissau - - -
 Liberia available[21] - -
 Mali available[23]
 Mauritania - - -
 Niger - - -
 Nigeria 8,458 4,675 13,133
 Senegal 1,679 398 2,057
 Sierra Leone available[26][38]
 Togo available[29][39] - -
Africa 256,383 132,348 388,731

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Clasquin, Michel / Krüger, Jacobus S. (eds.) (1999): Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: University of South Africa

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Global Religious Landscape - Religious Composition by Country". The Pew Forum. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Religious Adherents, 2010 – South Africa". World Christian Database. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Religious Adherents, 2010 – Mauritius (0.2% Buddhist + 1.3% Chinese Folk Religion)". World Christian Database. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Buddhism in Mauritius (1981)". Adherents.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Background Note: Mauritius, U.S. Department of State: U.S. Department of State, 2010, retrieved 2012-03-24 
  6. ^ "Resident population by religion and sex". Statistics Mauritius. p. 68. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  7. ^ religiousintelligence.co.uk - Madagascar
  8. ^ "Religious Adherents, 2010 - Madagascar". World Christian Database. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Seychelles Travel Guide - Religion
  10. ^ a b "Religious Adherents, 2010 - Seychelles". World Christian Database. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Religious Adherents, 2010 – Réunion". World Christian Database. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Religious Adherents, 2010 - Libya". World Christian Database. Retrieved 28 July 2013. , AllGov - Libya
  13. ^ a b "List of Buddhist centers in Morocco". BuddhaNet. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "List of Buddhist centers in Botswana". BuddhaNet. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "List of Buddhist centers in Cameroon". BuddhaNet. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "List of Buddhist centers in Cote d'Ivoire". BuddhaNet. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "List of Buddhist centers in Ghana". BuddhaNet. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "state.gov". state.gov. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "List of Buddhist centers in Kenya". BuddhaNet. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  20. ^ a b state.gov
  21. ^ a b "state.gov". state.gov. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Amitofo Care Center, Malawi
  23. ^ a b "List of Buddhist centers in Mali". BuddhaNet. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "state.gov - Namibia". state.gov. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  25. ^ Nigeria News - Being Buddhist
  26. ^ a b SGI-Sierra Leone Hosts Buddhist Seminar
  27. ^ a b "First Buddhist funeral in Swaziland". Times of Swaziland. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  28. ^ state.gov - Tanzania, List of Buddhist centers in Tanzania
  29. ^ a b Fostering Peace in Togo
  30. ^ First Buddhist center in Uganda
  31. ^ Buddhist Study Exams Held in Zambia, Korea and the USA
  32. ^ "state.gov". state.gov. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  33. ^ http://www.metro.co.uk/showbiz/interviews/19172-60-seconds-adewale-akinnuoye-agbaje
  34. ^ Most Buddhist Nations (2010) | QuickLists | The Association of Religion Data Archives
  35. ^ Most Chinese Universist Nations (2010) | QuickLists | The Association of Religion Data Archives
  36. ^ "Buddha In Africa" (Story Of Malawian Boy Raised In Chinese Orphanage & Trained In Martial Arts) Gets Development Boost
  37. ^ "List of Buddhist centers in Burkina Faso". BuddhaNet. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  38. ^ SGI members in Sierra Leone Organize Buddhist Seminars
  39. ^ SGI-Togo Appoints New Leaders