Buddhism vs Christianity

Buddhism Christianity Practices Meditation, the Eightfold Path; right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration Prayer, sacraments (some branches), worship in church, reading of the Bible, acts of charity, communion. Place of origin Indian subcontinent Roman province of Judea. Belief of God The idea of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator is rejected by Buddhists. The Buddha himself refuted the theistic argument that the universe was created by a self-conscious, personal God. One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity. Life after death Rebirth is one of the central beliefs of Buddhism. We are in an endless cycle of birth, death and re-birth, which can only be broken by attaining nirvana. Attaining nirvana is the only way to escape suffering permanently. Eternity in Heaven or Hell, in some cases temporal Purgatory. Use of statues and pictures Common. Statues are used as meditation objects, and revered as they reflect the qualities of the Buddha. In Catholic & Orthodox Churches. Founder The Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha) The Lord Jesus Christ. Clergy The Buddhist Sangha, composed of bhikkhus (male monks) and bhikkhunis (female nuns). The sangha is supported by lay Buddhists. Priests, bishops, ministers, monks, and nuns. Literal Meaning Buddhists are those who follow the teachings of the Buddha. Follower Of Christ. Human Nature Ignorance, as all sentient beings. In the Buddhist texts, it is seen that when Gautama, after his awakening, was asked whether he was a normal human being, he replied, “No”. 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. View of the Buddha The highest teacher and the founder of Buddhism, the all-transcending sage. N/A. Followers Buddhists Christian (followers of Christ) Place of worship Buddhist monasteries, temples, shrines. Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica, home bible study, personal dwellings. Original Language(s) Pali(Theravada tradition) and Sanskrit(Mahayana and Vajrayana tradition) Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. Means of salvation Reaching Enlightenment or Nirvana, following the Noble Eightfold Path. Through Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. View of other Dharmic religions Since the word Dharma means doctrine, law, way, teaching, or discipline, other Dharmas are rejected. N/A Holy days/Official Holidays Vesak day in which the birth, the awakening, and the parinirvana of the Buddha is celebrated. The Lord’s Day; Advent, Christmas; New Year, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, every day is dedicated to a Saint. Goal of religion To attain enlightenment and be released from the cycle of 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. Marriage It is not a religious duty to marry. Monks and nuns do not marry and are celibate. Advice in the Discourses on how to maintain a happy and harmonious marriage. A Holy Sacrament. Scriptures Tripitaka – a vast canon composed of 3 sections: the Discourses, the Discipline and the Commentaries, and some early scriptures, such as the Gandhara texts. The Holy Bible Population 500-600 million Over two billion adherents worldwide. Symbols The conch, endless knot, fish, lotus, parasol, vase, dharmachakra (Wheel of Dharma), and victory banner. Cross, ichthys (“Jesus fish”), Mary and baby Jesus. Religion which atheists may still be adherents of Yes. No. Geographical distribution and predominance (Majority or strong influence) Mainly in Thailand, Cambodia, Sri lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Japan, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Other small minorities exist in other countries. As the largest religion in the world, Christianity has adherents are all over the world. As a % of local population, Christians are in a majority in Europe, North and South America, and Australia and New Zealand. Goal of Philosophy To eliminate mental suffering. Objective reality. Worship of God who created life, the universe, and is eternal. Christianity has its own philosophy, found in the the Bible. That philosophy is Salvation from sin, through the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Authority of Dalai Lama Dalai Lamas are tulkus of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. They are cultural figures and are independent of the doctrinal basis of Buddhism. N/A. Confessing sins Sin is not a Buddhist concept. 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. Religious Law The Dharma. Varies among denominations. Has existed among Catholics in the form of canon law. Place and Time of origin The origin of Buddhism points to one man, Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, who was born in Lumbini (in present-day Nepal). He became enlightened at Bodhgaya, India and delivered his first set of teachings at a deer park in Sarnath, India. Jerusalem, approx. 33 AD. Status of Vedas The Buddha rejected the 5 Vedas, according to the dialogues seen in the nikayas. N/A.

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