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Terracotta reliefs on the facade of Somapura Mahavihara in Paharpur
© Matyas Rehak / Shutterstock

Buddhism in Bangladesh

Video Documentary
There is evidence of Buddhism in Bangladesh dating to the 3rd century B.C. Although Gauthama Buddha is said to have visited East Bengal, it was not until the spread of Buddhism by Emperor Ashoka that it gained a strong foothold in the region.

While it was the predominant faith of the region until about the 11th century, Buddhism is now the third largest religion in Bangladesh with about 0.7% of population adhering to Theravada Buddhism. Today, over 65% of the Buddhist population is concentrated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, where Buddhism the predominant faith of the Chakma, Marma, Tanchangya and other Jumma people, while the remaining 35% of the population are from the Bengali Buddhist community. Buddhist communities are present in the urban centers of Bangladesh, particularly Chittagong and Dhaka.