Many Buddhists have experienced persecution because of their faith including unwarranted arrest, imprisonment, beating, torture, or execution. It also may refer to the confiscation or destruction of property, or the incitement of hatred towards Buddhists.
In 224 CE Zoroastrianism was made the official religion of the Persia, and other religions were not tolerated, thus halting the spread of Buddhism westwards. In the 3rd century the Sassanids overran the Bactrian region, overthrowing Kushan rule, were persecuted with many of their stupas fired. Although strong supporters of Zoroastrianism, the Sassanids tolerated Buddhism and allowed the construction of more Buddhist monasteries. It was during their rule that the Lokottaravada followers erected the two Buddha statues at Bamiyan.
During the second half of the third century, the Zoroastrian high priest Kirder dominated the religious policy of the state. He ordered the destruction of several Buddhist monasteries in Afghanistan, since the amalgam of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism manifested in the form of a "Buddha-Mazda" deity appeared to him as heresy. Buddhism quickly recovered after his death.
The first alleged persecution of Buddhists in India took place in the 2nd century BC by King Pushyamitra Shunga. A non-contemporary Buddhist text states that Pushyamitra cruelly persecuted Buddhists. While some scholars believe he did persecute Buddhists based on the Buddhist accounts, others consider them biased because of him not patronising them. Many other scholars have expressed skepticism about the Buddhist claims. Étienne Lamotte points out that the Buddhist legends are not consistent about the location of Pushyamitra's anti-Buddhist campaign and his death: "To judge from the documents, Pushyamitra must be acquitted through lack of proof." Agreeing with him, D. Devahuti states that Pushyamitra's sudden destruction after offering rewards for Buddhist heads is "manifestly false". R. C. Mitra states that "The tales of persecution by Pushyamitra as recorded in Divyavadana and by Taranatha bear marks of evident absurdity."
Central Asian and North Western Indian Buddhism weakened in the 6th century following the White Hun invasion who followed their own religions such as Tengri and Manichaean. Around 440 CE they conquered Sogdiana then conquered Gandhara and pushed on into the Gangetic Plains. Their King Mihirkula who ruled from 515 CE suppressed Buddhism, destroying monasteries as far as modern-day Allahabad before his son reversed the policy.
Persecution of Buddhism started as early as in the life or soon after the death of King Ashoka. D.N. Jha writes that according to Kashmiri texts dated to 12th century, Ashoka's Son Jalauka was shaivite and was responsible for the destruction of many Buddhist monasteries. The story of Jalauka is essentially legendary, and no independent corroboration of the Kashmir tradition has been discovered. Patanjali, a famous grammarian stated in his Mahabhashya that Brahmins and Sharamanas (buddhists) were eternal enemies With the emergence of Hindu rulers of the Gupta Empire, Hinduism saw a major revivalism in the Indian subcontinent which challenged Buddhism which was at that time at its zenith. Even though Gupta empire was tolerant towards Buddhism and patronized Buddhist arts and religious institutions, Hindu revivalism generally became a major threat to Buddhism which led to its decline. A Buddhist illustrated palm leaf manuscript from Pala period (one of the earliest Indian illustrated manuscripts to survive in modern times) is preserved in University of Cambridge library. Composed in the year 1015, the manuscript contains a note from the year 1138 by a Buddhist believer called Karunavajra which indicates that without his efforts, the manuscript would have been destroyed during a political struggle for power. The note states that 'he rescued the 'Perfection of Wisdom, incomparable Mother of the Omniscient' from falling into the hands of unbelievers (who according to Camillo Formigatti were most probably people of Brahmanical affiliation). In 1794 Jagat Singh, Dewan (minister) of Raja Chet Singh of Banaras began excavating two pre Ashokan era stupas at Sarnath for construction material. Dharmarajika stupa was completely demolished and only its foundation exists today while Dhamekh stupa incurred serious damage. During excavation a green marble relic casket was discovered from Dharmarajika stupa which contained Buddha's ashes was subsequently thrown into Ganges river by Jagat Singh according to his Hindu faith. The incident was reported by a British resident and timely action of British authorities saved Dhamekh Stupa from demolition.
Emperor Wuzong of Tang (814-846) indulged in indiscriminate religious persecution, solving a financial crisis by seizing the property of Buddhist monasteries. Buddhism had developed into a major religious force in China during the Tang period, and its monasteries had tax-exempt status. Wuzong closed many Buddhist shrines, confiscated their property, and sent the monks and nuns home to lay life. Apart from economic reasons, Wuzong's motivation was also philosophical or ideological. As a zealous Taoist, he considered Buddhism a foreign religion that was harmful to Chinese society. He went after other foreign religions as well, all but eradicating Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism in China, and his persecution of the growing Nestorian Christian churches sent Chinese Christianity into a decline from which it never recovered.
The Oirats (Western Mongols) converted to Tibetan Buddhism around 1615. The Dzungars were a confederation of several Oirat tribes that emerged suddenly in the early 17th century. The Dzungar Khanate was the last great nomadic empire in Asia. In the 18th century, the Dzungars were annihilated by Qianlong Emperor in several campaigns. About 80% of the Dzungar population, or around 500,000 to 800,000 people, were killed during or after the Zunghar Genocide by Manchu Bannermen and Khalkha Mongols during the Manchu conquest in 1755-1757.
The Kalmyk Khanate was founded in the 17th century with Tibetan Buddhism as its main religion, following the earlier migration of the Oirats from Dzungaria through Central Asia to the steppe around the mouth of the Volga River. During the course of the 18th century, they were absorbed by the Russian Empire, which was then expanding to the south and east. The Russian Orthodox church pressured many Kalmyks to adopt Orthodoxy. In the winter of 1770-1771, about 300,000 Kalmyks set out to return to China. Their goal was to retake control of Dzungaria from the Qing dynasty of China. Along the way many were attacked and killed by Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, their historical enemies based on intertribal competition for land, and many more died of starvation and disease. After several months of travel, only one-third of the original group reached Dzungaria and had no choice but to surrender to the Qing upon arrival.
Qutaybah ibn Muslim, the Arab general of Khorasan conquered a number of territories in Central Asia including Samarkand where he broke a number of images. Several instances of Buddhist shrines being destroyed by the advancing Muslims are recorded though the religion continued to survive in some places for a considerable period of time. Bertolf Spuler cites the writings of Narshakhi while stating that the residents of Bukhara had reconverted from Islam to Buddhism four times until it was conquered by Qutayba in 712-13. A mosque was built in the city in place of a Buddhist monastery. Buddhists continued to live there until the tenth century. Similarly, Buddhism continued to exist in other places like Old Bukhara, Simingan in southern Tukharistan, Bamiyan and Kabul with suburbs inhabited by "Indians" which were also home to Buddhists. However, the religion could no longer develop as a power or distribute propaganda and its adherents also had to abandon the conversion of peoples in these regions. Scholars like Richard Nelson Frye have doubted the story of Marshaki, pointing out that unlike its statement, Qutayba ibn Muslim didn't live during the time of Umayyad Caliph Mu'awiya, as this story suggests, but rather much later. In addition to discrimination, emigration, and the conversion of the laity, Buddhism and its monasteries also declined with the Muslims taking over the trade along the Silk Road as well as in Sindh.
During their conquest of Sindh, the Arabs brought the non-Muslims into the category of ahl al-kitab, considering them ahl al-dhimmah (protected subjects) and thus practicing a certain amount of non-interference in their religious lives under the condition that they fulfil a number of obligations that came with this status. Since both Buddhism and Hinduism are literate religions with scriptures, the precedent of assimilating Zoroastrians into the category of ahl al-kitab was extended to them as well. The dhimmis were obligated to pay the jizya for following their ancestral religion. The historian Al-Baladhuri notes a decision by Muhammad bin Qasim in relation to a Buddhist vihara and Aror that after conquering the city through a treaty (sulh) he agreed not to kill the people and enter their temple, in addition to imposing kharaj on them. The Buddhists had petitioned the Arabs for the right to restore one of their temples and it was granted by Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf. However, this decision was later violated by the Pact of Umar and subsequent Muslim law codes which prohibited the restoration of existing non-Muslim religious structures as well as the building of new ones. Despite this fact, Buddhist inscriptions were still being recorded in the eleventh century. Some Buddhists also fled and emigrated from Muslim-ruled areas into other regions. Unlike Brahmanical worship, Buddhism rapidly declined in Sindh after the eighth century and it virtually disappeared by the eleventh century.
The Arabs conquered Balkh which was a centre of Buddhism. Many people in Balkh were sympathetic to Buddhism after the conquest and they were harshly denounced by adherents of Islamic orthodoxy. The Buddhist monastery of Nava Vihara which had become a symbol of national resistance was damaged under Muawiyah I in 663. The Arabs allowed the non-Muslims to practice their religion as long as they paid the poll-tax called jizya. In addition to the destruction of Buddhist temples, part of the old city was also destroyed during the Arab conquest. Nava Vihara continued to remain open according to historical accounts. Along with it, many other viharas evidently continued to function in Central Asia for at least a century after the Arab conquests. Al-Biruni records the existence of the religion and its monasteries in the early eleventh century. The eighth-century Korean traveller Hui'Chao records Hinayanists in Balkh under Arab rule. The city was reduced to ruins by 705 as a result of frequent revolts.
It is visible from some copper-plate inscriptions that some Buddhists had moved to other domains. Al-Ma'mun (r. 813-833 A.D.) while visiting Khorasan, launched an attack on Kabul, whose ruler submitted to taxation. The king of Kabul was captured and he then converted to Islam. Per sources, when the Shah submitted to al-Ma'mun, he sent his crown and bejeweled throne, later seen by the Meccan historian al-Azraqi to the Caliph who praised Fadl for "curbing polytheists, breaking idols, killing the refractory" and refers to his successes against Kabul's king and ispahabad. Other near-contemporary sources however refer to the artifacts as a golden jewel-encrusted idol sitting on a silver throne by the Hindu Shahi ruler or by an unnamed ruler of "Tibet" as a sign of his conversion to Islam.
Mihirakula, a king practicing Hinduism, has been described as a cruel and barbaric military leader. As a devotee of Hindu deity Shiva, he destroyed several Buddhist sites, ruined monasteries and committed genocide against monks. The rulers of the extensive Gupta Empire also persecuted the Buddhist community and demolished their homes and places of worship.
Various personages involved in the revival of Buddhism in India such as Anagarika Dharmapala and The Mahabodhi Movement of the 1890s as well as jurist B. R. Ambedkar hold the Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent responsible for the decay of Buddhism in India.
In 1193, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate and first Muslim ruler in India, left defenseless the northeastern territories that were the heart of Buddhist India. The Mahabodhi Temple was almost completely destroyed by the invading Muslim forces.
One of Qutb-ud-Din's generals, Ikhtiar Uddin Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji, who later becomes the first Muslim ruler of Bengal and Bihar, invaded Magadha and destroyed the Buddhist shrines and institutions at Nalanda, Vikramasila and Odantapuri, which declined the practice of Buddhism in East India. Many monuments of ancient Indian civilization were destroyed by the invading armies, including Buddhist sanctuaries near Benares. Buddhist monks who escaped the massacre fled to Nepal, Tibet and South India.
Mughals are reported to have destroyed many Hindu temples and Buddhist shrines alike or converted many sacred Hindu places into Muslim shrines and mosques. Mughal rulers like Aurangzeb destroyed Buddhist temples and monasteries and replaced them with mosques.
The Saffarids had sent looted Buddhist and Hindu icons to the Abbasids as gifts. The Mongol ruler Ghazan called on Buddhists to convert to Islam or leave the Ilkhanate and ordered their temples to be destroyed, but he later adopted a slightly less severe position. Though he had earlier supported their persecution as well as the persecution of other non-Muslims, his religious policies changed after the death of Nowruz with punishments imposed on perpetrators of religious intolerance and attempts to restore relations with non-Muslims. Although the religion survived there, it never recovered from the assault by Ghazan.
The historical area of what is modern day Xinjiang consisted of the distinct areas of the Tarim Basin and Dzungaria, and was originally populated by Indo-European Tocharian and Iranic Saka peoples who practiced the Buddhist religion. The area was subjected to Turkification and Islamification at the hands of invading Turkic Muslims.
The Islamic attacks and conquest of the Buddhist cities east of Kashgar was started by the Turkic Karakhanid Satok Bughra Khan who in 966 converted to Islam and many tales emerged about the Karakhanid ruling family's war against the Buddhists, Satok Bughra Khan's nephew or grandson Ali Arslan was slain by the Buddhists during the war. Buddhism lost territory to Islam during the Karakhanid reign around the Kashgar area. A long war ensued between Islamic Kashgar and Buddhist Khotan which eventually ended in the conquest of Khotan by Kashgar.
Iranic Saka peoples originally inhabited Yarkand and Kashgar in ancient times. The Buddhist Iranic Saka Kingdom of Khotan was the only city-state that was not conquered yet by the Turkic Uyghur (Buddhist) and the Turkic Qarakhanid (Muslim) states and its ruling family used Indian names and the population were devout Buddhists. The Buddhist entitites of Dunhuang and Khotan had a tight-knit partnership, with intermarriage between Dunhuang and Khotan's rulers and Dunhuang's Mogao grottos and Buddhist temples being funded and sponsored by the Khotan royals, whose likenesses were drawn in the Mogao grottoes. The rulers of Khotan were aware of the menace they faced since they arranged for the Mogao grottoes to paint a growing number of divine figures along with themselves. Halfway in the 20th century Khotan came under attack by the Qarakhanid ruler Musa, and in what proved to be a pivotal moment in the Turkification and Islamification of the Tarim Basin, the Karakhanid leader Yusuf Qadir Khan conquered Khotan around 1006.
The Taẕkirah is a genre of literature written about Sufi Muslim saints in Altishahr. Written sometime in the period from 1700-1849, the Eastern Turkic language (modern Uyghur) Taẕkirah of the Four Sacrificed Imams provides an account of the Muslim Karakhanid war against the Khotanese Buddhists, containing a story about Imams, from Mada'in city (possibly in modern-day Iraq) came 4 Imams who traveled to help the Islamic conquest of Khotan, Yarkand, and Kashgar by Yusuf Qadir Khan, the Qarakhanid leader. Accounts of the battles waged by the invading Muslims upon the indigenous Buddhists takes up most of the Taẕkirah with descriptions such as "blood flows like the Oxus", "heads litter the battlefield like stones" being used to describe the murderous battles over the years until the "infidels" were defeated and driven towards Khotan by Yusuf Qadir Khan and the four Imams, but the Imams were assassinated by the Buddhists prior to the last Muslim victory so Yusuf Qadir Khan assigned Khizr Baba, who was born in Khotan but whose mother originated from western Turkestan's Mawarannahr, to take care of the shrine of the 4 Imams at their tomb and after Yusuf Qadir Khan's conquest of new land in Altishahr towards the east, he adopted the title "King of the East and China". Due to the Imams deaths in battle and burial in Khotan, Altishahr, despite their foreign origins, they are viewed as local saints by the current Muslim population in the region.
Muslim works such as Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam contained anti-Buddhist rhetoric and polemic against Buddhist Khotan, aimed at "dehumanizing" the Khotanese Buddhists, and the Muslims Kara-Khanids conquered Khotan just 26 years following the completion of Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam.
Muslims gouged the eyes of Buddhist murals along Silk Road caves and Kashgari recorded in his Turkic dictionary an anti-Buddhist poem/folk song.
Satuq Bughra Khan and his son directed endeavors to proselytize Islam among the Turks and engage in military conquests. The Islamic conquest of Khotan led to alarm in the east and Dunhuang's Cave 17, which contained Khotanese literary works, was closed shut possibly after its caretakers heard that Khotan's Buddhist buildings were razed by the Muslims, and Khotan had suddenly ceased to be Buddhist.
In 1006, the Muslim Kara-Khanid ruler Yusuf Kadir (Qadir) Khan of Kashgar conquered Khotan, ending Khotan's existence as an independent state. The war was described as a Muslim Jihad (holy war) by the Japanese Professor Takao Moriyasu. The Karakhanid Turkic Muslim writer Mahmud al-Kashgari recorded a short Turkic language poem about the conquest:
kändlär üzä čïqtïmïz
furxan ävin yïqtïmïz
burxan üzä sïčtïmïz
Idols of "infidels" were subjected to desecration by being defecated upon by Muslims when the "infidel" country was conquered by the Muslims, according to Muslim tradition.
The Buddhist Uyghurs of the Kingdom of Qocho and Turfan were converted to Islam by conquest during a ghazat (holy war) at the hands of the Muslim Chagatai Khizr Khwaja.
After being converted to Islam, the descendants of the previously Buddhist Uyghurs in Turfan failed to retain memory of their ancestral legacy and falsely believed that the "infidel Kalmuks" (Dzungars) were the ones who built Buddhist monuments in their area.
Buddhist monks were forced to return to the laity, Buddhist property was confiscated, Buddhist institutions were closed, and Buddhist schools were reorganized under state control in the name of modernizing Japan during the early Meiji period. The state-control of Buddhism was part of Imperial Japanese policy both at home and abroad in Korea and other conquered territories.
The Government of Myanmar has attempted to control Buddhist institutions through coercive means, including the intimidation, torture, and murder of monks. After monks played an active role in the protest movements against the military dictatorship in 2007, the state cracked down on Buddhist monks and monasteries.
During the Northern Expedition, in 1926 in Guangxi, Kuomintang Muslim General Bai Chongxi led his troops in destroying Buddhist temples and smashing idols, turning the temples into schools and Kuomintang party headquarters. It was reported that almost all Buddhist monasteries in Guangxi were destroyed by Bai in this manner. The monks were removed. Bai led a wave of anti foreignism in Guangxi, attacking Americans, Europeans, and other foreigners and missionaries, and generally making the province unsafe for foreigners. Westerners fled from the province, and some Chinese Christians were also attacked as imperialist agents. The three goals of his movement were anti-foreignism, anti-imperialism, and anti-religion. Bai led the anti-religious movement, against superstition. Muslims do not believe in superstition (see Shirk (Islam)) and his religion may have influenced Bai to take action against the Idols in the temples and the superstitious practices rampant in China. Huang Shaoxiong, also a Kuomintang member of the New Guangxi Clique, supported Bai's campaign, and Huang was not a Muslim, the anti religious campaign was agreed upon by all Guangxi Kuomintang members.
During the Kuomintang Pacification of Qinghai the Muslim General Ma Bufang destroyed Tibetan Buddhist monasteries with support from the Kuomintang government. Ma served as a general in the National Revolutionary Army, and sought to expand the Republic of China's control over all of Qinghai, as well as the possibility of bringing Tibet back into the Republic by force. When Ma Bufang launched seven expeditions into Golog, killing thousands of Tibetans, the Republic of China government, known as the Kuomintang, supported Ma Bufang. Ma was highly anti-communist, and he and his army wiped out many Tibetans in the northeast and eastern Qinghai, and destroyed Tibetan Buddhist temples.
The Muslim Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, tried to use heavy artillery to destroy the statues. Another attempt to destroy the Bamiyan statues was made by the 18th century Persian king Nader Afshar, who directed cannon fire at them.
The enormous statues, the male Salsal ("light shines through the universe") and the (smaller) female Shamama ("Queen Mother"), as they were called by the locals, did not fail to fire the imagination of Islamic writers in centuries past. The larger statue reappears as the malevolent giant Salsal in medieval Turkish tales.
The Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed by the fundamentalist Islamist Taliban regime in 2001 in defiance of worldwide condemnation. The statues were blown up and fired upon by rockets and gunfire.
Excavators at the Buddhist site of Mes Aynak have been denounced as "promoting Buddhism" and threatened by the Taliban and many of the Afghan excavators who are working for purely financial reasons don't feel any connection to the Buddhist artifacts.
Swat Valley in Pakistan has many Buddhist carvings, stupas and Jehanabad contains a Seated Buddha statue. Kushan era Buddhist stupas and statues in Swat valley were demolished by the Taliban and after two attempts by the Taliban, the Jehanabad Buddha's face was dynamited. Only the Bamiyan Buddhas were larger than the carved giant Buddha status in Swat near Mangalore which the Taliban attacked. The government did nothing to safeguard the statue after the initial attempt at destroying the Buddha, which did not cause permanent harm, and when the second attack took place on the statue the feet, shoulders, and face were demolished. Islamists such as the Taliban and looters destroyed much of Pakistan's Buddhist artifacts left over from the Buddhist Gandhara civilization especially in Swat Valley. The Taliban deliberately targeted Gandhara Buddhist relics for destruction. The Christian Archbishop of Lahore Lawrence John Saldanha wrote a letter to Pakistan's government denouncing the Taliban activities in Swat Valley including their destruction of Buddha statues and their attacks on Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus. Gandhara Buddhist artifacts were illegally looted by smugglers. A rehabilitation attempt on the Buddha was made by Luca Olivieri from Italy. A group of Italians helped repair the Buddha.
In Bangladesh, the persecution of the indigenous tribes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts such as the Chakma, Marma, Tripura and others who are mainly Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and Animists, has been described as genocidal. The Chittagong Hill Tracts are located bordering India, Myanmar and the Bay of Bengal, and is the home to 500,000 indigenous people. The perpetrators of are the Bangladeshi military and the Bengali Muslim settlers, who together have burned down Buddhist and Hindu temples, killed many Chakmas, and carried out a policy of gang-rape against the indigenous people. There are also accusations of Chakmas being forced to convert to Islam, many of them children who have been abducted for this purpose. The conflict started soon after Bangladeshi independence in 1972 when the Constitution imposed Bengali as the sole official language, Islam as the state religion - with no cultural or linguistic rights to minority populations. Subsequently, the government encouraged and sponsored massive settlement by Bangladeshis in region, which changed the demographics from 98 percent indigenous in 1971 to fifty percent by 2000. The government allocated a full third of the Bangladeshi military to the region to support the settlers, sparking a protracted guerilla war between Hill tribes and the military. During this conflict which officially ended in 1997, and in the subsequent period, a large number of human rights violations against the indigenous peoples have been reported, with violence against indigenous women being particularly extreme. Bengali settlers and soldiers have raped native Jumma (Chakma) women "with impunity" with the Bangladeshi security forces doing little to protect the Jummas and instead assisting the rapists and settlers. The Karuna Bihar Buddhist temple was attacked by Bengali settlers.
During the 2012 Ramu violence a 25,000-strong mob set fire to at least five temples and dozens of homes throughout the town and surrounding villages after seeing a picture of an allegedly desecrated Quran, which they claimed had been posted on Facebook by Uttam Barua, a local Buddhist man.
The Ladakh Buddhist Association has said: "There is a deliberate and organised design to convert Kargil's Buddhists to Islam. In the last four years, about 50 girls and married women with children were taken and converted from village Wakha alone. If this continues unchecked, we fear that Buddhists will be wiped out from Kargil in the next two decades or so. Anyone objecting to such allurement and conversions is harassed."
The destruction of the Buddhist artifacts by Islamists took place on the day in which Mohamed Nasheed was toppled as President in a coup.
Most of Maldive's Buddhist physical history was obliterated.
7 February 2012 was the date of the anti-Buddhist attack by the Islamists.
The violence and long lasting tension was reignited on 28 May 2012. It was reported that daughter of U Hla Tin, of Thabyechaung Village named Ma Thida Htwe aged 27 was raped then killed by three Muslim men. These men were later arrested.
Tensions between Buddhist and Muslim ethnic groups flared into violent clashes in Meiktila, Mandalay Division in 2013. The violence started on 20 March after a Muslim gold shop owner, his wife, and two Muslim employees assaulted a Buddhist customer and her husband in an argument over a golden hairpin. A large Buddhist mob formed and began to destroy the shop. The heavily outnumbered police reportedly told the mob to disperse after they had destroyed the shop.
On the same day, a local Buddhist monk passing on the back of a motorbike was attacked by four Muslims. According to witnesses, the driver was attacked with a sword, causing him to crash, while the monk was also hit in the head with the sword. Per a witness, one of the men doused the monk woth fuel and burnt him alive. The monk died in the hospital. The killing of the monk caused the relatively contained situation to explode, greatly increasing intensity and violence.
Primarily Buddhist Thailand has been involved in a fight with Muslim insurgents in the South. Buddhists have been beheaded and clergy and teachers are frequently threatened with death. Shootings of Buddhists are quite frequent in the South, as are bombings, and attacks on religious establishments.
Buddhist murals at the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves were damaged by local Muslim population whose religion proscribed figurative images of sentient beings, the eyes and mouths in particular were often gouged out. Pieces of murals were also broken off for use as fertilizer by the locals.
Uyghur Muslim opposition to a Buddhist Aspara statue in Ürümqi in Xinjiang was cited as a possible reason for its destruction in 2012. A Muslim Kazakh viewed a giant Buddha statue near Ürümqi as "alien cultural symbols".
in 2013, a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, on a study tour at the Big Temple in Thanjavur, was assaulted by a few individuals beloning to Tamils organizations Naam Tamilar Katchi and the Thamizh Desiya Podhuvudamai Katchi, which were supporters of LTTE. Eleven persons were arrested by the police. 
During the Sri Lankan Civil War, Buddhists were the victims of many terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which was made up of mostly Hindus but consisted of Christians too. During this period, the pinnacle of Buddhists; the Temple of the Tooth, where the sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is kept and worshiped was attacked by the LTTE. 17 including a 2-year old infant were killed in the incident.In the Anuradhapura massacre, LTTE cadres drove to the Sri Maha Bodhi shrine and gunned down nuns, monks and civilians as they were worshipping inside the Buddhist shrine. 146 Sinhalese men, women and children were killed in Anuradhapura. The Aranthalawa Massacre was the killing of 33 Buddhist monks and four civilians by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The sacred Bo tree that relates to the Acetic tree, under which the Buddha attained Buddhahood was also attacked by the said terrorist group, killing around three hundred pilgrims.
The National Socialist Council of Nagaland has been accused of demanding money and food from Buddhists living along the Assam-Arunachal border. It has also been accused by Buddhists of forcing locals to convert to Christianity. The NSCN is also suspected of burning down the Rangphra temple in Arunachal Pradesh.
The National Liberation Front of Tripura has shut down and attacked Hindu and Buddhist orphanages, hospitals, temples and schools in Tripura. They have also been accused of force converting Buddhists to Christianity.
A mass scale ethnic riot was initiated by the Baptist Church in Tripura in 1980 by which both Hindu and Buddhist tribes faced systematic ethnic cleansing. Thousands of women kidnapped and then raped and even forced to convert to Christianity. Reports state that the terrorists received aid from international Christian groups. The Christian tribals also received aid from the NLFT. This was the state's worst ethnic riot.
Some South Korean Buddhists have denounced what they view as discriminatory measures against them and their religion by the administration of President Lee Myung-bak, which they attribute to Lee being part of the Somang Presbyterian Church in Seoul.
The Buddhist Jogye Order has accused the Lee government of discriminating against Buddhism and favoring Christianity by ignoring certain Buddhist temples but including Christian churches in certain public documents. In 2006, according to the Asia Times, "Lee also sent a video prayer message to a Christian rally held in the southern city of Busan in which the worship leader prayed feverishly: 'Lord, let the Buddhist temples in this country crumble down!'" Further, according to an article in Buddhist-Christian Studies: "Over the course of the last decade [1990s] a fairly large number of Buddhist temples in South Korea have been destroyed or damaged by fire by misguided Christian fundamentalists. More recently, Buddhist statues have been identified as idols, and attacked and decapitated in the name of Jesus. Arrests are hard to effect, as the arsonists and vandals work by stealth of night." A 2008 incident in which police investigated protesters who had been given sanctuary in the Jogye temple in Seoul and searched a car driven by Jigwan, executive chief of the Jogye order, led to protests by Buddhists who claimed that police had treated Jigwan as a criminal.
In March 2009, in an effort to reach out to Buddhists affected by recent events, the President and First Lady participated in a Korean Buddhist conference where he and his wife were seen joining palms in prayer during chanting along with participants. The discomfort among the Buddhists has gradually decreased since then.
Under British rule, Christians were openly favoured for jobs and promotions. Robert Inglis, a 19th-century British Conservative, likened Buddhism to "idolatry" during a parliamentary debate over the relationship of "Buddhist priests" to the British colonial government, in 1852. During the Sri Lankan Civil War, Buddhists were the victims of many terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which was made up of mostly Hindus but consisted of Christians too. During this period, the pinnacle of Buddhists; the Temple of the Tooth, where the sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is kept and worshiped was attacked by the LTTE. The sacred Bo tree that relates to the Acetic tree, under which the Buddha attained Buddhahood was also attacked by the said terrorist group, killing around three hundred pilgrims.
As early as 1953 rumoured allegations had surfaced of discrimination against Buddhists in Vietnam. These allegations stated that Catholic Vietnamese armed by the French had been raiding villages. By 1961, the shelling of pagodas in Vietnam was being reported in the Australian and American media.
After the Catholic Ngô Đình Diệm came to power in South Vietnam, backed by the United States, he favoured his relatives and co-religionists over Buddhists. Though Buddhists made up 80% of Vietnam's population, Catholics were given high positions in the army and civil service. Half of the 123 National Assembly members were Catholic. Buddhists also required special government permits to hold large meetings, a stipulation generally made for meetings of trade unions. In May 1963, the government forbade the flying of Buddhist flags on Vesak. After Buddhist protesters clashed with government troops, nine people were killed. In protest, the Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burned himself to death in Saigon. On August 21, the Xá Lợi Pagoda raids led to a death toll estimated in the hundreds.
The banishment of Buddhist monks from Nepal was part of a Rana government campaign to suppress the resurgence of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal in the early decades of the 20th century. There were two deportations of monks from Kathmandu, in 1926 and 1944.
The exiled monks were the first group of monks to be seen in Nepal since the 14th century. They were at the forefront of a movement to revive Theravada Buddhism which had disappeared from the country more than five hundred years ago. The Rana regime disapproved of Buddhism and Nepal Bhasa, the mother tongue of the Newar people. It saw the activities of the monks and their growing following as a threat. When police harassment and imprisonment failed to deter the monks, all of whom were Newars, they were deported.
The Khmer Rouge, which was basically Maoist, actively imposed an atheistic agrarian revolution, resulting in the persecution of ethnic minorities and Buddhist monks during their reign from 1975 to 1979. Buddhist institutions and temples were destroyed and Buddhist monks and teachers were killed in large numbers. A third of the nation's monasteries were destroyed along with numerous holy texts and items of high artistic quality. 25,000 Buddhist monks were massacred by the regime. Pol Pot believed that Buddhism was a decadent affectation, and he sought to eliminate its 1,500-year-old mark on Cambodia, while still maintaining the structures of the traditional Buddhist base.
Since the communist revolution, Buddhism was severely restricted and brought under state-control at times. In addition, "Marxist-Leninist atheism has been widely publicized, resulting in steadily decreasing religious communities", especially in areas with developed economies. In 1989, less than 12% of the population held religious beliefs. During the Cultural Revolution, Buddhists were actively persecuted and sent for re-education, and temples, statues, and sutras were vandalized and destroyed. In recent years, Buddhism has been undergoing a revival but most Buddhist institutions are within the confines of the state.
Although many temples and monasteries have been rebuilt after the cultural revolution, Tibetan Buddhists have largely been confined by the Government of the People's Republic of China. Buddhist monks and nuns have been reported tortured and killed by the Chinese military, according to all human rights groups. There were over 6,000 monasteries in Tibet, and nearly all of them were ransacked and destroyed by the Chinese communists, mainly during the Cultural Revolution. Analysis of a bulk of documents has shown that many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries were destroyed by the Chinese communists before the cultural revolution. Moreover, the "Chinese Communist Party has launched a three-year drive to promote atheism in the Buddhist region of Tibet", with Xiao Huaiyuan, a leader in the Chinese Communist Party Propaganda Department in Tibet, stating that it would "help peasants and herdsmen free themselves from the negative influence of religion. Intensifying propaganda on atheism is especially important for Tibet because atheism plays an extremely important role in promoting economic construction, social advancement and socialist spiritual civilization in the region." He further said it would push "people of all ethnic groups in the region to raise their ideological and ethical quality, to learn a civilized and healthy life style and to strive to build a united, prosperous and civilized new Tibet."
Buddhist monks were persecuted in Mongolia during communist rule up until democratization in 1990. Khorloogiin Choibalsan declared 17,000 of the monks to be enemies of the state and deported them to Siberian labor camps, where many perished. Almost all of Mongolia's over 700 Buddhist monasteries were looted or destroyed.
During the 1960s and 1970s, "North Korea effectively exterminated all signs of Buddhism" in the region.
Despite the communist regime's hostility, Buddhism is still widely practiced in Vietnam. According to Human Rights News, "Vietnam continues to systematically imprison and persecute independent Buddhists as well as followers of other religions." The leaders of the Unified Buddhist Congregation of Vietnam, Thích Huyền Quang and Thích Quảng Độ were imprisoned for decades. Thich Nhat Hanh has spoken out about the wiping out of his spiritual tradition in Vietnam.
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Khmer Buddhist influences still persisted and they are also recognizable in the Khmer Rouge's worldview, particularly in their notions of time, authority, and normative ethics ... Though the Khmer Rouge was officially nonreligious, its worldview, especially its notions of time, authority and its normative ethics can be understood as having structural parallels with the Buddhist worldview.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, Marxist-Leninist atheism has been widely publicized, resulting in steadily decreasing religious communities, especially in predominantly Han and the coastal areas with a developed economy.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Burmese government persecuted approximately 2,000 Buddhist monks who, refusing to ahdere to government rule that ultimately contravened Buddhist philosophy, were either arrested or bayoneted by government troops. During that time, North Korea effectively exterminated all signs of Buddhism, and Cambodia's Pol Pot regime implemented a similar extermination program of Buddhist clergy.
The 1985 Borobudur bombing occurred on 21 January 1985 when nine bombs detonated at the Borobudur Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. There were no human casualties in this attack, however nine stupas on upper rounded terraces of Arupadhatu were badly damaged by the bombs.2012 Ramu violence
The 2012 Ramu violence refers to a series of attacks on Buddhist monasteries, shrines, and houses of Buddhist inhabitants in Ramu Upazila in Cox's Bazar District in Bangladesh by local mobs on the midnight past 29 September 2012. The mobs destroyed 12 Buddhist temples and monasteries and 50 houses in reaction to a tagging of an image depicting the desecration of a Quran on the timeline of a fake Facebook account under a Buddhist male name. The actual posting of the photo was not done by the Buddhist who was falsely slandered. The Buddhist was innocent of the accusation. The violence later spread to Ukhia Upazila in Cox's Bazar District and Patiya Upazila in Chittagong District where Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples were targeted for attacks.
An estimated 25,000 people participated in the violence directed at Buddhists and over 300 people were arrested in connection to the attacks.Arakan massacres in 1942
During World War II, Japanese forces invaded Burma (now Myanmar), that was then under British colonial rule. The British forces retreated and in the power vacuum left behind, considerable inter communal violence erupted between Pro-Japanese Buddhist Rakhine and Pro-British Muslim villagers. As part of the 'stay-behind' strategy to impede the Japanese advance, the Commander-in-Chief of forces in Delhi, Wavell, established "V-Force" which armed Rohingya locals in northern Arakan to create a buffer zone from Japanese invasion when they retreated.The period also witnessed violence between groups loyal to the British and Burmese nationalists.Aranthalawa masacre
The Aranthalawa massacre was the massacre of 33 Buddhist monks, most of them young novice monks, and four civilians by cadres of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization (the LTTE, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers) on June 2, 1987, close to the village of Aranthalawa, in the Ampara District of Eastern Sri Lanka. The massacre is considered one of the most notorious and devastating atrocities committed by the LTTE during the history of the Sri Lankan Civil War, and continues to be commemorated 20 years on.Banishment of Buddhist monks from Nepal
The banishment of Buddhist monks from Nepal was part of a campaign by thee erstwhile Rana government to suppress the resurgence of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal in the early decades of the 20th century. There were two deportations of monks from Kathmandu, in 1926 and 1944.
The exiled monks were the first group of monks to be seen in Nepal since the 14th century. They were at the forefront of a movement to revive Theravada Buddhism, which had disappeared from the country more than five hundred years ago. The Newar Buddhism is traditionally Vajrayana based. The tyrannical Rana dynasty disapproved of Buddhism and the Newar language. It saw the activities of the monks and their growing following as a threat. When police harassment and imprisonment failed to deter the monks, all of whom were Newars, they were deported.
Among the charges made against them were preaching a new faith, converting Hindus, encouraging women to renounce and thereby undermining family life and writing books in Newari.Bauddha Rishi Mahapragya
Bauddha Rishi Mahapragya (Devanagari: बौद्ध ऋषि महाप्रज्ञा) (born Nani Kaji Shrestha) (21 May 1901 – 1979) was one of the most influential figures in the revival of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal in the 1920s. In 1926, he was jailed and then exiled by the tyrannical Rana regime for converting to Buddhism from Hinduism.Mahapragya (alternative names: Bhikshu Mahapragya, Palden Sherab, M. P. Pradhan, Prem Bahadur Shrestha) was also a writer and is known for his Buddhist books, poetry and hymns in Nepal Bhasa and Hindi.Bodh Gaya bombings
On 7 July 2013 a series of ten bombs exploded in and around the Mahabodhi Temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bodh Gaya, India. Five people, including two Buddhist monks, were injured by the blasts. Three other devices were defused by bomb-disposal squads at a number of locations in Gaya.The temple itself and the Bodhi Tree (where Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment) were undamaged. However, the Archaeological Survey of India confirmed damage to new structures in the temple complex. International figures, including the Dalai Lama, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Myanmar Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, condemned the attacks. On 4 November 2013, the National Investigation Agency announced that the Islamic terrorist group Indian Mujahideen was responsible for the bombings.On 1 June 2018, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court of Patna sentenced life imprisonment for 5 prime accused in this case.Buddhist crisis
The Buddhist crisis (Vietnamese: Biến cố Phật giáo) was a period of political and religious tension in South Vietnam between May and November 1963, characterized by a series of repressive acts by the South Vietnamese government and a campaign of civil resistance, led mainly by Buddhist monks.The crisis was precipitated by the shootings of nine unarmed civilians on May 8 in the central city of Huế who were protesting a ban of the Buddhist flag. The crisis ended with a coup in November 1963 by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and the arrest and assassination of President Ngô Đình Diệm on November 2, 1963.Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict
The Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict was a political and armed conflict between the government of Bangladesh and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (United People's Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts) and its armed wing, the Shanti Bahini, over the issue of autonomy and the land rights of Jumma people, Chakma people and the other indigenous of Chittagong Hill Tracts. Shanti Bahini launched an insurgency against government forces in 1977, when the country was under military rule, and the conflict continued for twenty years until the government and the PCJSS signed the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord in 1997.The actions carried out by the armed forces and the paramilitary groups helping them have been projected by tribals as genocide and ethnic cleansing. There have been reports of mass rapes by the paramilitary Bangladesh Ansars, though these have been disputed.According to Amnesty International as of June 2013 the Bangladeshi government made "praiseworthy progress" in implementing the terms of the peace accord and in addressing the Jumma people's concerns over the return of their land. Amnesty estimate that there are currently only 900 internally displaced Jumma families.Dhammalok Mahasthavir
Dhammalok Mahasthavir (Devanagari: धम्मालोक महास्थविर) (born Das Ratna Tuladhar) (16 January 1890 – 17 October 1966) was a Nepalese Buddhist monk who worked to revive Theravada Buddhism in Nepal in the 1930s and 1940s. For this act, he was expelled from the country by the tyrannical Rana regime.Dhammalok was also a writer who contributed to the Nepal Bhasa renaissance. He worked to promote Theravada Buddhism and Nepal Bhasa braving government persecution.Dharmachari Guruma
Dharmachāri Gurumā (Devanagari: धर्मचारी गुरुमाँ) (born Laxmi Nāni Tulādhar) (14 November 1898 – 7 January 1978) was a Nepalese anagarika who was an influential figure in the revival of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal. She was expelled from Kathmandu by the government for her religious activities.Dharmachari was a progressive and fought social mores and government repression to become a nun. She acquired an education and traveled out of the country to study Buddhism and receive ordination. Dharmachari also established the first nunnery in Nepal.Emperor Wuzong of Tang
Emperor Wuzong of Tang (July 2, 814 – April 22, 846), né Li Chan, later changed to Li Yan just before his death, was an emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China, reigning from 840 to 846. Emperor Wuzong is mainly known in modern times for the religious persecution that occurred during his reign. In addition, he was known for his successful reactions against incursions by remnants of the Huigu Khanate and the rebellion by Liu Zhen, as well as his deep trust in the chancellor Li Deyu.Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution
The Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution initiated by Tang Emperor Wuzong reached its height in the year 845 CE. Among its purposes were to appropriate war funds and to cleanse China of foreign influences. As such, the persecution was directed not only towards Buddhism but also towards other religions, such as Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity, and Manichaeism.Huế Phật Đản shootings
The Huế Phật Đản shootings were the deaths of nine unarmed Buddhist civilians on 8 May 1963 in the city of Huế, South Vietnam at the hands of the army and security forces of the Roman Catholic government of Ngô Đình Diệm. The army and police fired guns and launched grenades into a crowd of Buddhists who had been protesting against a government ban on flying the Buddhist flag on the day of Phật Đản, which commemorates the birth of Gautama Buddha. Diệm denied governmental responsibility for the incident and blamed the Việt Cộng, which added to discontent among the Buddhist majority.
The incident spurred a protest movement by Buddhists against the religious discrimination which they felt was perpetrated by the Diệm regime, known as the Buddhist crisis, and this led to widespread civil disobedience among the South Vietnamese. Generals from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam conducted a coup on 1 November 1963, after six months of tension and growing opposition to the regime; this led to the arrest and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm on 2 November 1963.Kou Qianzhi
Kou Qianzhi (Chinese: 寇謙之; pinyin: Kòu Qiānzhī; Wade–Giles: K'ou Ch'ien-chih) (365–448) was a Taoist reformer who reenvisioned many of the ceremonies and rites of the Way of the Celestial Master form of Taoism and reformulated its theology into a new movement known as The Northern Celestial Masters. His influence was such that he had Taoism established as the official state religion of the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534); this act, however, embroiled Taoism in long and often bloody factional political struggles. There was a saying Kou Qianzhi once secluded in Mount Huashan for his taoism meditation.
Kou apparently began his career as a Taoist physician and hygienist. But in 415 he had a vision: a spirit appeared before him and told him that since the death of Zhang Daoling, the great founder of the Way of the Celestial Master ("Tradition of the Celestial Master of the Mighty Commonwealth of Orthodox Oneness") sect of Taoism, the sect had been corrupted by false doctrines. Kou was awarded Zhang Daoling's old title of tianshi ("celestial master") and was charged in the vision with eliminating excesses in Taoist rituals. Accordingly, Kou began to attempt to curb the orgiastic practices and mercenary spirit that had become associated with Taoist rites and to place greater emphasis on hygienic ritual and good works.
Kou gained many adherents and, by making Taoism into a more orthodox doctrine, attracted the attention of Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei. In 423 Kou had the title of tianshi conferred upon himself by Imperial decree, thereby establishing the "Taoist papacy": the title was passed to the church's leader from generation to generation in an unbroken line. By conspiring with certain court officials, Kou's patron Cui Hao was able to have Buddhism, Taoism's chief competitor, proscribed from the realm and all its practitioners subjected to a bloody persecution. Taoism then became the official religion of the Northern Wei Dynasty.
But Kou's efforts were only temporarily effective: Buddhism soon returned to north China, after the deaths of Cui Hao and Emperor Taiwu and the accession of Taiwu's devoutly Buddhist grandson Emperor Wencheng. Moreover, because orgiastic Taoist rites were still noted as late as the Tang dynasty, many observers view his reforms as transitory.
寇謙之 Kou Qianzhi was the leader of the Celestial Masters north branch.Celestial Masters north branch under Kou Qianzhi worshipped divinities described in the 魏書 Book of Wei. Yin Xi and the Elder Lord are abesnt from the Celestial Masters of Kou Qianzhi.An anti Buddhist plan was concocted by the Celestial Masters under Kou Qianzhi along with Cui Hao under the Taiwu Emperor. The Celestial Masters of the north urged the persecution of Buddhists under the Taiwu Emperor in the Northern Wei, attacking Buddhism and the Buddha as wicked and as anti stability and anti family. Anti Buddhism was the position of Kou Qianzhi. There was no ban on the Celestial Masters despite the nofullfilment of Cui Hao and Kou Qianzhi's agenda in their anti Buddhist campaign.Kumar Kashyap Mahasthavir
Bhante Kumar Kashyap Mahasthavir (Devanagari: कुमार काश्यप महास्थविर) (born Asta Man Shakya) (24 July 1926 – 26 February 2012) was a Nepalese Buddhist monk who was awarded the title of Tripitakacharya (Tripitaka Master).In 1944, he was expelled from Nepal by the tyrannical Rana regime for promoting Theravada Buddhism and writing in Nepal Bhasa. He spent his exile in India and Sri Lanka.Mahmud al-Kashgari
Mahmud ibn Hussayn ibn Muhammed al-Kashgari was an 11th-century Kara-Khanid scholar and lexicographer of the Turkic languages from Kashgar.
His father, Hussayn, was the mayor of Barsgan, a town in the southeastern part of the lake of Issyk-Kul (nowadays village of Barskoon in northern Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul Region) and related to the ruling dynasty of Kara-Khanid Khanate.Pragyananda Mahasthavir
Pragyananda Mahasthavir (Devanagari: प्रज्ञानन्द महास्थविर) (born Kul Man Singh Tuladhar) (2 May 1900 – 11 March 1993) was a Nepalese Buddhist monk who was one of the leaders of the revival of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal. In 1930, he became the first monk wearing yellow robes to be seen in Kathmandu since the 14th century.Pragyananda served Buddhism and wrote religious literature in Nepal Bhasa when both the religion and language were being suppressed by the autocratic Rana regime. For these offenses, he was expelled from the country. Pragyananda also became the first Sangha Mahanayaka (Patriarch) of Nepal in modern times.Pushyamitra Shunga
Pushyamitra Shunga (IAST: Puṣyamitra Śuṅga) (c. 185 – c. 149 BCE) was the founder and first ruler of the Shunga Empire in East India. He was a follower of Brahmanism.
Pushyamitra was originally a Senapati "General" of the Maurya Empire. In 185 BCE he assassinated the last Mauryan Emperor, Brihadratha Maurya, during an army review, and proclaimed himself emperor.
Pushyamitra is recorded to have performed numerous Ashvamedha campaigns to legitimize his right to rule.
Inscriptions of the Shungas have been found as far as the Ayodhya (the Dhanadeva-Ayodhya inscription), and the Divyavadana mentions that he sent an army to persecute Buddhist monks as far as Sakala (Sialkot) in the Punjab region in the northwest.
The Buddhist texts state that Pushyamitra cruelly persecuted the Buddhists, although some modern scholars have expressed skepticism about these claims.
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