Austria

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Buddhism is a legally recognized religion in Austria and it is followed by more than 10,000 Austrians (about 0.15%). Although still small in absolute numbers (10,402 at the 2001 census), Buddhism in Austria enjoys widespread acceptance. A majority of Buddhists in the country are Austrian nationals (some of them naturalized after immigration from Asia, predominantly from the People's Republic of China and Vietnam), while a considerable number of them are foreign nationals.

As in most European countries, different branches and schools of Buddhism are represented by groups of varying sizes. Vienna not only has the largest number of foreign residents, but is also the place with the longest tradition of Buddhism in the country. Most of Austria's Buddhist temples and centres of practice can be found there; some with a specific Chinese, Vietnamese, Tibetan or Japanese appearance. The latest development has been the establishment of a “Buddhist Cemetery” around a stupa-like building for funeral ceremonies at the Vienna Central Cemetery.

Buddhism was officially recognized under Austrian law in 1983. Russia is the only other "European" country to forwardly recognize Buddhism as "native" to its own soil, giving it official status, along with Orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

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