Many places have their own culture and tradition; religion is a form of faith and belief that influences the way people live. This report is the result comes from the research of various features among many religious systems, in details, it will indicate the similarities and differences between Buddhism and Christianity. However, before going straight to the points, we should ensure to understand what is Buddhism and what is Christianity. Buddhism is a faith of living a peaceful life, unconditional happiness and taking responsibility for what they did. On the other side, Christians believe in the life of Jesus – the Son of God, who has been the World’s Creator. Just looking at the fundamental definitions make us think these religions are not so much the same; therefore, this report is going to prove that thinking is wrong.
Christianity is the most followed religion in the world, with around 2 billion followers. However, Australia and many parts of Europe have been rejecting religious activities like faith and church participation. Based on the reports of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of Christianity followers have decreased significantly from 88.2% in 1966 to 52.1% in 2016. Regarding these statistics, we have a big question of why that needs to be answered. More and more people recognized many conflicts between their religious faith and their actual way of living, so to have no religion is a way to release themselves. Many Europeans thought religion was disappearing, but truly it is not. Otherwise, many places such as the Asia and Middle East, indeed, Buddhism is still rising. Buddhism is one of the major religions by having about 470 million Buddhist globally and there are three forms of Buddhism that are existing, Theravada, Mahayana and Tibetan (History.com 2017, para. 1). As we know the general background of religion, the next paragraph is going to point out two interesting similarities between Buddhism and Christianity.
As the two-distinct religious system, in some points Buddhism and Christianity share similar ideas. There are many similarities between the two religions, one of the most significant similarities is the Buddha and Jesus Christ based their ethics on the “Golden Rules” which was good for the welfare of human beings.
· Buddha’s Teachings of prohibition (History.com 2017, Buddhism):
o Killing living things.
o Taking what is not given.
o Sexual misconduct.
o Using drugs or alcohol.
· Jesus’s Teachings (History.com 2017, Christianity):
o Love God.
o Love your neighbour as yourself.
o Forgives others who have wronged you.
o Love your enemies.
o Don’t judge others.
o Don’t be hypocritical.
The “Golden Rules” of Buddhism, Christianity encourages followers to take steps to improve their well beings. Also, they have a strong devotional aspect. In addition, the second similarity is the forms of worship. For instance, Buddhism and Christianity worship includes monasticism, which means Buddhists go to pagodas or temples and Christians go to churches to pray. Moreover, both religions also use rosary and incense, the teachings of Buddha and Jesus are written down in rosaries which helps worshipper to remind themselves about the moral basis.
On the other hand, the differences between the two religions are substantial. Firstly, Christians have a faith that God is the one who created the heaven and the Earth, also all kind of living beings, whereas followers of Buddhism don’t believe in supreme God, who is the World’s Creator, instead, they concentrate on obtaining the enlightenment. For example, Secondly, Christianity focus on the concept of Salvation comes through the approval of Jesus Christ as the saviour. Moreover, Christians believe that if they trust in Jesus Christ, they will gain eternal life in heaven. Buddhists have a different focus, they believe that an individual has to work for his personal liberation – a discipline that may take several lifetimes. Buddhists believe that their faith in the Buddha is not enough, but they have to experience nirvana for themselves.
To conclude, Buddhism and Christian are the two largest religions in the world. They share many ideas, teach the followers to live a moral life, for their own good and help the other people; they also have their own places to worship, like churches or temples. In contrast, they are opposite each other in various ways, Christians believe in a supreme God, while Buddhist chase the purpose of enlightenment. In my opinion, each of the religion has their upsides and downsides, their contribution to the humanity achievement is very huge, the only matter is our choices to follow which of them.