Can Christianity and Buddhism Coexist?

By Faith and Rain, 12 January, 2024
Asian Buddha in a lush garden

Christianity and Buddhism are two well-known religions with many followers across the globe.

Two great spiritual leaders who offer a path to deliverance found both religions.

Buddha found Buddhism, while Jesus Christ, the Son of God, found Christianity.

However, the teachings of both systems are complicated to some people.

In addition, there are similarities and differences between the two religions.

Some people believe Buddhism and Christianity cannot coexist.

To them, it is not possible for someone to be dedicated to Jesus Christ and follow the teachings of Buddha.

Buddhism has made inroads in American and several European countries.

Here, you will find people who identify themselves as Christians and Buddhists at the same time.

So, can someone be a Christian and a Buddhist at the same time?

Can Christianity and Buddhism Coexist?

According to Wikipedia, Christianity is a religion where followers believe in God, who created all things. 

They also believe in Jesus Christ, who is the son of God.

Christianity is a monotheistic religion with many followers all over the world.

Based on Christian Bible, God is perfect and His word is final.

On the other hand, Buddhists believe in something different from the Christian God.

Buddhism followers see the teachings of Buddha as the most divine form of understanding.

Buddhism is nontheistic, and the followers do not believe in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, based on their beliefs and ideologies, Christianity and Buddhism are two incompatible religions.

Christians preach God’s creation and salvation, while Buddhists believe in enlightenment, reincarnation, and nirvana.

This means the beliefs and principles of Christians and Buddhists are not in agreement at all.

For instance, Christians believe there is God and Jesus Christ is the accurate way to salvation.

But with Buddhists, there is no God, and Buddha reveals the correct way.

Another reason Christianity and Buddhism cannot coexist is that Christianity promises external life, while Buddhism’s highest state of enlightenment is being reborn.

Even though there are several similarities, such as both seek higher spiritual perfection, the two religions are different and cannot get along.

What is Buddhism?

Wikipedia states Buddhism is an Indian religion that is based on the teachings of Buddha.

Buddha, also known as Gautama Buddha, was a Sramana and the founder of Buddhism

Many Buddhist schools refer him to as the savior or the enlightened one.

The religion started between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE and has spread across Asia, America, and several European countries.

Unlike Christianity that focuses on prayers and reading the Bible, Buddhism practices medication, mindfulness, right effort, right view, and right aspiration, among other practices.

With over 520 million followers, Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world.

The religion contains a diversity of beliefs, traditions, and spiritual practices based on Buddha’s teachings.

Buddhism is a nontheistic religion; This means it does not believe in a supreme creator, God.

It is an offshoot of the Dharmic religion and Hinduism.

What are the major differences between Christianity and Buddhism?

*Buddhists do not talk or believe in God; Buddhism is a nontheistic religion.

In Christianity, there is God, who is the creator of everything.

Christianity is a religion that believes in one God, monotheistic.

*In Buddhism, mindfulness, and meditation are principles at the heart of the religion; Buddhists do not believe in prayers.

But Christians place everything to God through prayers.

According to the Bible verse - 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - pray without ceasing.

*While Christians deliberate more on God’s grace, Buddhism highlights more on personal effort.

*The founder of Christianity is Jesus Christ and the savior of the world, while Buddhists believe Buddha is the savior.

*In Christianity, people will spend their eternity in heaven or hell.

However, re-birth is the central belief in Buddhism; They believe we are in an endless cycle of birth, death, and re-birth.

*Christianity stresses salvation where you can only receive salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord and savior.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

However, it is a unique case with Buddhism; Followers of Buddhism believe a person must work for his own liberation.

Buddhists believe one has to experience spiritual enlightenment for himself.

*The principal goal of Buddhism is to eliminate mental suffering, while the major goal of Christianity is to worship God and to have eternal life.

We find Christianity philosophy in the Bible.

What are the relationships between Buddhism and Christianity?

Even though the two religions are incompatible, there are similarities between Buddhism and Christianity.

*Great spiritual leaders found Both Christianity and Buddhism.

Jesus Christ is the founder of Christianity, while Buddha is the founder of Buddhism.

*They teach both religions through simple parables.

*Jesus Christ and Buddha’s aim was to reform the existing religions and social practices which had no divine meaning.

*Both Buddha and Jesus Christ accepted everyone.

Buddha accepted all into his Sangha while Jesus Christ said the Kingdom of God was for anyone who believes.

*The primary principles of Buddhism that include refraining from lying, killing, stealing, and sexual immorality are also welcomed in Christianity.

*Christianity and Buddhism highlight ethical living, love, and compassion for other people.

*Both systems teach people can overcome the forces of hate through love.

Jesus teaches people to love their enemies and Buddha teaches hatred cannot be overwhelmed by hatred.

*They encouraged Both Christians and Buddhists to be generous to the less privileged in society.

*Both systems seek a higher spiritual perfection.

They believe they only achieved genuine happiness and satisfaction from spiritual values.

Wrapping Up

Christianity and Buddhism are two religions that cannot coexist.

Christianity is about Jesus Christ, and He is the savior of humanity.

But with Buddhists, Buddha is the savior, or the enlightened one.

Therefore, both religions have different principles and beliefs.