Buddhism in Switzerland

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The Tibet Institute Rikon located in Zell-Rikon in the Töss Valley (November 2009)

According to the 2000 census of Switzerland, 21,305 Swiss residents (0.29% of the total population) self-identified as Buddhists. About a third of them were born in Thailand.


In 1978 the Swiss Buddhist Union (Schweizerische Buddhistische Union / Union Suisse des Bouddhistes / Unione Buddhista Svizzera) was founded by the Czech Buddhist Mirko Fryba (Bhikkhu Kusalananda).

The German Buddhist Nyanatiloka was an important early Buddhist in Switzerland and who planned to found a Buddhist monastery there. The writings of Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung have many allusions to Buddhism. Max Ladner founded a Buddhist group in Zurich in 1942. In 1948, Ladner published the Buddhist journal "Die Einsicht". Geshe Rabten Rinpoche founded in 1977 in Mont Pèlerin a Buddhist monastery and study centre for European monks, nuns and lay people as well. Switzerland also has Tibetan-Buddhist and Zen monasteries, among them the Tibet Institute Rikon located in Zell-Rikon im Tösstal in the Töss Valley in the canton of Zürich.[1]

In earlier censuses, Buddhism figured together with other non-Abrahamic traditions (mainly Hinduism) as "other churches and communities". These accounted for 0.12% in 1970, 0.19% in 1980, 0.42% in 1990 and 0.78% in 2000 (0.38% Hinduism, 0.29% Buddhism, 0.11% other).


  1. ^ Tibet Institute Rikon: History

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