World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Buddhism in Brazil

Article Id: WHEBN0001687743
Reproduction Date:

Title: Buddhism in Brazil  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Buddhism by country, Buddhism in Venezuela, Buddhism in Argentina, Shravasti, Buddhism in Brazil
Collection: Buddhism in Brazil, Religion in Brazil
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Buddhism in Brazil

Busshinji, Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple in Liberdade, São Paulo, is the headquarters for the school's mission in South America.

With nearly 250,000 Buddhists,[1] Brazil is home to the third largest Buddhist population in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Buddhism in Brazil consists of practitioners from various Buddhist traditions and schools. A number of Buddhist organisations and groups are also active in Brazil, with nearly 150 temples spread across the states.


  • Japanese Heritage 1
  • Theravada Buddhism 2
  • Vajrayana Buddhism 3
  • Mahayana Buddhism 4
  • Buddhism Today 5
  • References 6
  • Bibliography 7
  • External links 8

Japanese Heritage

Buddhism was introduced to Brazil due to the immigration of Japanese in the early 20th century.[2] Thus, Japanese schools and sects of Buddhism, such as Soto Zen, Nichiren Honmon Butsuryu Shu, Jodo Shinshu (also known as True Pure Land Buddhism) and Soka Gakkai have a strong presence in Brazil. Despite being the most expressive in Brazil, these schools face a number of challenges which limit their influence and outreach. One of those challenges is the mismatch of goals and expectations between the more traditional, Japanese-born people and the native Brazilians alongside those of Japanese descent.

Although the Japanese contributed to the introduction of Buddhism to Brazil, adherence to Buddhism is not particularly widespread among descendants of Japanese immigrants, who were largely converted to Roman Catholicism. Those who practice and identify with Buddhism tend to display a wide variety of stances regarding their relationships to the ethnicity and the religious tradition. To various degrees most of them attempt to simultaneously meld with local Brazilian culture according to their personal preferences. Most such schools are attempting to reach out to Brazilians not of Japanese descent, however often facing considerable internal resistance in the process.

Other Japanese traditions present in Brazil include Shingon, Tendai, Nichiren Shu and Nichiren Shoshu schools, albeit in somewhat modest numbers. Recent years also saw a growth of interest in the practice Zen variants from Korea and Vietnam in Brazil.

Theravada Buddhism

The Theravada tradition's presence in Brazil was started by those who created the Brazil Buddhist Society [2]. It was initially presented with a generalist non-sectarian approach to Buddhism, it evolved into a more Theravada-aligned society drawing teachings from the Pāli Canon of the Tripitaka and to other teachings and practices of the Theravada tradition. Since the 1970s it has maintained simple installations built with voluntary work which have hosted visiting monks from Sri Lanka and other Theravada countries. In 1989, the Nalanda Buddhist Centre was established. It maintains affiliated groups in Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Curitiba, and has invited a large number of international teachers through the years.

Vajrayana Buddhism

All four major schools of Três Coroas in Rio Grande do Sul State where he spent the last few years of his life. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visited Brazil in 2006.[3]

Mahayana Buddhism

The Chinese

  • Dharmanet BR One of the main Brazilian Buddhism websites
  • Official Brazilian HBS site - Honmon Butsuryu Shu is a Nichiren Buddhism school that has significant Brazilian presence
  • Official Brazilian NKT site
  • Chagdud Gonpa Brazil - a network of Nyingma centers in Brazil
  • Brazil Buddhist Society
  • Nalanda Brazilian Theravada Buddhist Community
  • Official BSGI site - Brazilian representant of the Soka Gakkai International
  • Zu Lai Temple - of the Chinese Chan tradition, located in Cotia, São Paulo
  • Busshinji Temple - Head temple of Soto Zen sect for South America
  • Buddhactivity Dharma Centres database
  • Centres in Brazil practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh

External links

  • Moreira da Rocha, Cristina (2000). Zen Buddhism in Brazil: Japanese or Brazilian?, Journal of Global Buddhism 1, 31-55
  • Moreira da Rocha, Cristina (2006). Zen in Brazil: The Quest for Cosmopolitan Modernity, Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^


The State government of Espírito Santo has implemented a special training programme for military police to attend zen courses at the Mosteiro Zen Morro da Vargem.[8]

The activities of Buddhist groups are however a bit restricted due to the linguistic geography of Brazil - since it is a non-Spanish speaking country in Latin America. This limits the cross-boundary activities typical of the Buddhist organisations active in other countries.[7]

Although Brazil remains a largely Christian country, Buddhism has a growing presence in Brazil. There is considerable online activity and dialogue amongst Brazilian Buddhists, with a number of websites and online groups, as well as Orkut communities dedicated for discussion and clarifying doubts about Buddhism and Buddhist teachings.

Buddhism Today

The Vietnamese Zen school of Thich Nhat Hanh maintains temples and sangha in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.[6]

The Fo Guang Yuan Temple in the city of Olinda, in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, also belongs to the Mahayana tradition.[5]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.