List of converts to Buddhism from Christianity

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This is a list of notable converts to Buddhism from Christianity.

Name Former denomination Nationality Notes Refs.
Roberto Baggio Roman Catholicism Italian footballer [1][2]
Solomon Bandaranaike Anglicanism Sri Lankan former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and founder of Sri Lanka Freedom Party [3]
Helena Blavatsky Russian Orthodox Church Russian philosopher, occultist, founder of the Theosophical Society [4]
Orlando Bloom Church of England English actor [5][6]
Ajahn Brahm N/A English religious teacher and student of the late Thai monk Ajahn Chah [7]
Ajahn Candasiri N/A Scottish Thai Theravada Buddhist nun [8][9]
Pema Chödrön Roman Catholicism American Tibetan Buddhist nun [10]
Thomas William Rhys Davids Congregationalism British scholar of the Pāli language [11]
Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle Society of Jesus German religious teacher [12]
Junius Richard Jayewardene N/A Sri Lankan first President of Sri Lanka and former Prime minister [13]
Steve Jobs Lutheranism American co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc. [14][15]
Charles R. Johnson African Methodist Episcopal Church American political cartoonist, novelist and Buddhist writer [16]
Irvin Kershner N/A American film director [17]
Dewi Lestari Pentecostalism Indonesian singer and writer [18][19]
Tina Turner Baptist Swiss singer and actress [20]
Herman Vetterling Swedenborgianism American mystic but he retained elements of Swedenborg thought after his conversion [21][22]


  1. ^ Planet Sport: Roberto Baggio returns ponytail for Italian federation Guardian – August 8, 2010
  2. ^ "Buddisti Soka Gakkai. Una Sabina vi convertirà" (in Italian). Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  3. ^ New York Times
  4. ^ Cranston 1993, p. 9.
  5. ^ Orlando Bloom 'converts to Buddhism'
  6. ^ Interview with Orlando Bloom Archived 2008-03-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "I Kidnapped a Monk!". Buddhistdoor International. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ BBC
  9. ^ Ajahn Candasiri's website
  10. ^ PBS
  11. ^ "Buddhist India, by T.W. Rhys Davids". Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  12. ^ "Sanbokyodan Zen and the Way of the New Religions by Robert H. Sharf, Terebess Asia Online (TAO)". Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  13. ^ de Silva, K. M.; William Howard Wriggins (1988). J.R. Jayewardene of Sri Lanka. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press. p. 133. ISBN 0-8248-1183-6. 
  14. ^ What do Steve Jobs’s final words mean?
  15. ^ The spiritual side of Steve Jobs
  16. ^ Charles R. Johnson interview at Monsters&Critics: "Buddhism has been my refuge (as it was intended to be for practitioners) since I was 14-years-old, and first sat in formal meditation."
  17. ^ Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of The Making of The Empire Strikes Back by Alan Arnold (1980, Sphere Books) p.238.
  18. ^ Dewi 'Dee' Lestari: Love, spirituality and ecology
  19. ^ Sensasi Pernikahan Kedua Dewi Lestari
  20. ^ Orth, Maureen (2004). "Proud Tina: Tina Turner". The Importance of Being Famous. Henry Holt and Company. p. 42. ISBN 9780805075458. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ The Dharma of Emanuel Swedenborg: A Buddhist Perspective
  22. ^ Imagining Tibet : Perceptions, Projections, and Fantasies by Thierry Dodin