Buddhism (Pali / Sanskrit: बौद्ध धर्म Buddha Dharma) is a non-theistic philosophy or religion that originally appeared in India around the 6th century BC and encompasses various traditions, beliefs and practices based on the teachings, the Dharma (Pali: Dhamma, Sanskrit: Dharma), by Siddhartha Gautama, entitled Buddha. It is divided into three major traditions: Theravada (also called Hinayana), Mahayana and Vajrayana (or tantrayana). These traditions include the most diverse Buddhist schools like Zen, pure land, Kadampa and Tibetan Buddhism. It is estimated that there are 500 million followers in the world, which is considered the fifth largest religion in number of followers in the world. The largest number of his followers is found in the east in countries like Japan, China, Tibet and Thailand.
Historically, the roots of Buddhism lie in the religious thought of ancient India during the second half of the first millennium before Christ. This was a period of social and religious turmoil, as there was significant discontent with the sacrifices and rituals of Vedic Brahmanism. He was challenged by several new teachings and ascetic, religious and philosophical groups that broke with the Brahmin tradition and rejected the authority of the Vedas and the Brahmins.
Buddhism was formed in northeastern India, between the 5th and 4th centuries BC. This period corresponds to a phase of social, political and economic changes in that region of the world. The ancient Brahmanic religiosity, centred on animal sacrifice, was questioned by several religious groups, who usually orbited around a master. One of these religious masters was Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, whose life most Western and Indian scholars are between 563-483 BC, although Japanese scholars consider dates 448 to 368 BC more likely. Siddhartha was born in the village of Kapilavastu, believes it is the Indian village of Piprahwa, located near the Indo-Nepalese border. It belonged to the warrior caste (Kshatriya).
In Frank Usarski’s Book on “Buddhism and the other encounters and mismatches between the great religions”, he makes us see that Buddhism has always had a peaceful coexistence between various religions, but the religion that most had conflicts was with the Catholic religion, with Christianity.
It addresses dialogues established throughout history, that at the beginning Jesuit missionaries had a peaceful coexistence in regions where Buddhism and polytheistic religions such as China prevailed, but after accusations against the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, the emperor Yongzheng (1678-1735), forbade Christians to act in the Asian country.
Later, with the trade between the Middle East and the West, both Catholics and Protestants returned to settle in China, other examples are also in countries like India, Siri Lanka and Japan, where violence was most seen against the Buddhist population. , practised by feudal lords linked to Christians, with the destruction of temples, shrines, Buddhist monasteries.
But as incredible as it may seem now, the Buddhist religion maintains a very close relationship with Christianity, maintaining friends and relationships to admire.