Tibet is a sparsely populated mountainous country with India and Nepal to its south and China to its north and east. Envoys from the Tibetan king first brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet from India in the 7th century, but the religion only became firmly established after the 11th century.
Since then, nearly all Tibetans have been Buddhists. In 1950 the communist government of China invaded Tibet and, after a revolt against their occupation in 1959, they began a brutal campaign to destroy Buddhism and Tibetan identity. Today, a degree of religious freedom has returned to Tibet and Buddhism there is undergoing something of a reformation. Some half a million Tibetan refugees in India too still practice their religion with great devotion. A Buddhist monk, the Dalai Lama, is both the spiritual and secular leader of the Tibetan people, although he now lives in exile in India.
- The Cultural History of Tibet, D.L. Snellgrove and H.E. Richardson, 1968.