An objective guide to Religions in Myanmar emphasizes the fact that Myanmar (Burma) is a multi-religious nation. The country covers no official religion for the state, but the Burmese government is likely to take the Theravada Buddhism for the main religion that is practiced by 89% of the population. The Shan, Mon, Bamar, Rakhine, and Chinese mainly follow the Theravada Buddhism.
Besides, there stand some spaces for the other Religions in Myanmar like Hinduism, Christianity, Muslims, and Hindus. The freedom of religion is provided in Burma that helps the religion diversity become one of the highlights of the peaceful land. In Burmese history, the religions appear very early, so they make the strong impact on the Burmese’s spiritual belief. Get a guide about Burmese religions so that your Myanmar Tours become smoothest ever.
Theravada Buddhism first appeared and was widely promoted in Bagan, the Burmese old capital from the 11th century. From then on, the Buddhism has held the pivotal role in the Burmese’s spiritual life, art, society, architecture, etc. More and more Buddhist temples or wats were constructed in every destination of the country like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Mrauk U, Mawlamyine, Nyaung U, etc. Today, the majority of the Burmese are Buddhists, and the Buddhism is ranked the national religion. Buddhism is done in conjunction with spirit worship; the spirits can interfere in the worldly issues.
The Theravada tradition is practiced by 89% of the national population. It is the major religion because that the proportion of the monks in the country’s population is dominant. Meanwhile, the percentage of income spent on Buddhism is also largest. In reality, the famous Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar such as Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Ananda Temple, Kuthodaw Temple, Shitthaung Temple, etc., are open to the tourists worldwide. They are the main tourism attractions in Burma that enrich the tourists’ architectural tastes and religious senses.
Constituting about 4% of the Burmese population, the Christianity was initiated in Myanmar from the 18th century and grown until now. There are two arms of Christians here: Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. About four-fifths of the nation’s Christians are Protestants; the Roman Catholics make up the rest.
The Muslims practitioners also constitute 4% of Myanmar’s population according to the government census. The Muslims are mainly practiced by the Sunni groups who have strong faith in the Sunni set. The minor religion is followed by a small portion of ethnic minorities of the Indo-Burmese, Indians, and Chinese.
The religion is promoted predominantly by Burmese Indians. The Hinduism followers account for 2% of the Burma’s population. This minor religion was said to arrive in Myanmar during the ancient times. Know that the “Burma” or “Myanmar” names’ origin was in Hinduism. “Burma” is the British colonial official’s phonetic alike to the first half of Brahma Desha. Brahma is a deity with four heads, the part of Hindu trinity. Meanwhile, Myanmar is derived from the regional language transliteration of Brahma (b and m are interchangeable).
After all, the individual’s freedom and religious peace are the major purposes of all of these religions in Myanmar. They help stabilize the nation’s spiritual life and develop the whole country in a peaceful manner.