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Buddhism vs.

Christianity
Buddhism is centered upon the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha, whereas
Christianity is centered on the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ. Buddhism is a
nontheistic religion, i.e., it does not believe in a supreme creator being a.k.a. God.
Christianity is a monotheistic religion and believes that Christ Is the Son Of God.
Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism and is a Dharmic religion. Christianity is an
offshoot of Judaism and is an Abrahamic religion.

Comparison chart

Christianity
Buddhism

Place of origin Nepal, India


Place of Monasteries, nunneries,
worship pagodas and temples.
Practices of the Threefold
Practices Training: Morality,
Concentration, and Wisdom.
Time of origin

2,500 years ago, circa 563


B.C.E. (Before Common Era)

Roman province of Judea.


Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica, home
bible study, personal dwellings.
Prayer, sacraments (some branches), worship
in church, reading of the Bible, acts of
charity, communion.
Approx. 33 AD.

Following the teachings of the


Buddha

Christianity broadly consists of individuals


who believe in the deity Jesus Christ. Its
followers, called Christians, often believe
Christ is "the Son" of the Holy Trinity and
walked the earth as the incarnate form of God
("the Father").

The Buddha's teachings, the


Dharma.

Has existed among Catholics in the form of


canon law.

About

Religious Law

Not a part of (Theravada)


Buddhism. The Buddha told us
that we should strive hard
ourselves to dismiss the bad
Confessing sins
deeds we have already done
(except for certain bad deeds,
e.g., matricide, etc.) and also
showed us the way to do so.

Protestants confess straight to God, Catholic


confess mortal sins to a Priest, and venial sins
straight to God (Orthodox have similar
practice) Anglicans confess to Priests but
considered optional. God always forgives sins
in Jesus.

Gautama Buddha believed and


preached that the Vedas were
originally sacred texts that were
Status of Vedas
corrupted by some Brahmins by
introducing practices such as
animal sacrifice.

N/A.

To attain enlightenment and be


released from the cycle of
Goal of religion
rebirth and death, thus attaining
Nirvana.

To love God and obey his commandments


while creating a relationship with Jesus Christ
and spreading the Gospel so that others may
also be saved.

Ordinary human beings possess


greed, anger, delusion, igorance,
cravings, etc. and they were
compared by the Buddha as 'the
Human Nature
fools' and 'the blind'. (Ordinary
human beings mean those who
haven't walked or are not
walking the Eightfold Path.)

Man has inherited "original sin" from Adam.


Mankind then is inherently evil and is in need
of forgiveness of sin. By knowing right and
wrong Christians choose their actions.
Humans are a fallen, broken race in need of
salvation and repair by God.

Symbols

Wheel.

Buddhism is not a philosophy. It


Goal of is the practical teachings of the
Philosophy Buddha and its goal is 'nirvana'.

Cross, ichthys ("Jesus fish"), Mary and baby


Jesus.
Objective reality. Worship of God who
created life, the universe, and is eternal.
Christianity has its own philosophy, found in
the 66 books of the Bible.

Promised Holy Meitreya


one.

Second Coming of Christ

Views on other Buddhism does not condemn


religion any of other religions .

Christianity is the True Faith.

Some branches of Buddhism


like Mahayana, in which the
Offshoot
teachings of the Buddha have
religions
been amended over and over
again.
Names of God Brahma, Avalokitesvara

Rastafarianism,Universalism, and Deism, and


Masonry.

God, Gud, Gott, Deo, Dios. Jehovah, YHWH,


Eli Elohim, Allah, (depending on language
Christians are of every language and culture

around the world)


Statues are commonly used as
symbolic reminders while
Use of statues, paying obeisance to the
images Buddha.

Followers Buddhists
Generally common.
Rites

some denominations regard It as forbidden


and Idolatry. Anglicans and Lutherans allow
pictures but forbid venerating them. Catholics
encourage pictures and statues and venerate
them. Orthodox encourage pictures and
venerate them.
Christian (follwers of Christ)
Seven sacraments: Baptism, confirmation,
Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick,
holy orders, matrimony (Catholic and
Orthodox). Anglicans: Baptism and
Eucharist. Other denominations: Baptism and
communion.

No God or gods. Salvation is


not related to Buddhism at all.
The Buddha also told us to
God's role in
depend on our own to attain
salvation
nirvana (by practising the
Threefold Training or the
Eightfold Path).

Humans cannot save themselves or ascend on


their own to a higher level. Only God is good
and therefore only God is able to save a
person. Jesus came down from Heaven to
save mankind.

Believes absolutely that any


View of other other ideas and concepts rather
Dharmic than the Buddha's teachings will
religions never be true or perfect in this
world.

N/A

sects

Theravada, Mahayana and


Vajrayana, and so on.

Being a Dharmic religion,


View of other Buddhism has no relative view
Abrahamic of Abrahamic religions.
religions
Wholly rejects such kinds of
View of concepts. The Buddha's
Animistic teachings have nothing to do
religions with these.

Legislation

All the rules determined by the


words of the Buddha.

If one followed the Buddha's


teachings, one would not need a
Marriage and divorce. However, if personal
Divorce differences are so vast within a
couple, divorce is permitted.
No saints. Only upright or
virtuous persons, Arhats, etc.
Saints
those who follow exactly the
Buddha's teachings.
War between Many mainline Buddhist sects
two churches/ deny Soka Gakkai as true

Catholic, Protestant, & Orthodox.


Judaism is regarded as a True religion but
incomplete (without Gospel, and Messiah)
Islam is regarded as a false religion,
Christianity does not accept the Qur'an as
true.
Paganism is Heathenism. Witchcraft is
communication and interaction with demons,
fallen evil angelic beings. These have no real
interest ultimately, in helping their
worshipers. Demonic possession is common.
Varies through denomination.
Explained by Jesus in Mathew 19:3-9 and
said, Therefore a man shall leave his father
and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and
the two shall become one flesh. Therefore
what God has put together let man not
seperate.'
Catholics and Orthodox venerate very Holy
people as Saints. Most Protestants do not do
this.
Catholics & Protestants used to be at war in
Norther Ireland; In USA, many

major sects

Buddhism.

Three The Buddha, the Dharma, the


Jewels/Trinity Sangha.

fundamentalist Protestants vehemently deny


Catholics are Christian.
The Blessed Trinity: In the name of the
Father the Son and the Holy Spirit

Differences
See also: God in Buddhism and God in Christianity

God the Father on a throne,Westphalia, Germany, late 15th century.

There are inherent and fundamental differences between Buddhism and Christianity, one significant element
being that while Christianity is at its core monotheistic and relies on a God as a Creator, Buddhism is
generally non-theistic and rejects the notion of a Creator God which provides divine values for the world.
The Nicene Creed, the most widely used Christian creed, states that "We believe in one God, the Father
Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible". However, the notion of theistic
creation is generally foreign to Buddhist thought, and the question of the existence of God is perhaps one of the
most fundamental barriers between the teachings of Christianity and Buddhism. Although Mahayana
Buddhism expresses belief in Bodhisattva this is very different from the notion of Creator God in
Christianity. While some variations of Buddhism believe in an impersonal eternal Buddha or creative force, in
general Buddhism sees the universe as eternal and without a starting point of creation.
There are inherent differences in the Christian and Buddhist beliefs regarding the End
Times and eschatology. Jan Nattier states that while Buddhism has a notion of "relative eschatology" that refers
to specific cycles of life, the term "Buddhist eschatology" does not relate to any "final things", or that the world
will end one day - Buddhist scripture routinely referring to the "beginningless Sam sra" as a never ending cycle
of birth and death with no starting point. However, Christian eschatology directly involves the concept of "end to
all creation" at the Last Judgementwhen the world will reach its conclusion. Scholars generally regard the
Buddhist and Christian views of the End Times as incompatible.
There are other fundamental incompatibilities, e.g. while Grace in Christianity is part of the very fabric of
theology, in Theravada Buddhism no deity can interfere with Karma and hence the notion of any type of grace
is inadmissible within these teachings Mahayana Buddhism however, differs on this issue.
The crucifixion of Jesus as a single event in history that acts for the atonement of sins is a central element of
Christian belief. This, however, produces a strong difference between Christian and Buddhist
teachings. Buddhist scholar Masao Abe pointed out that while "the event of the Cross" is central to Christianity,
it is not possible for Buddhism to accept its importance. Buddhist philosopher D. T. Suzuki stated that every
time he saw a crucifixion scene it reminded him of the "gap that lies deep" between Christianity and Buddhism.

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