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Religion in Bhutan

Religion in Bhutan

The official religion in Bhutan is Vajrayana Buddhism. Bhutan is a Buddhist country by constitution and Buddhism plays a vital role in the country. Buddhism is the cultural heritage of Bhutan and its people's identity as well. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the King. Approximately 75 percent of the population of 770,000 follow either the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school, the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism or another school of Buddhism. The remaining 25 percent, mainly Lhotshampas, practice Hinduism.

As Tibetan Buddhism constitutes such a crucial role in Bhutan, Tibet is revered as the holy place by Bhutanese, many of which pay visit to Tibet every year. The government supports both Kagyu and Nyingma Buddhist monasteries. The royal family practices a combination of Nyingma and Kagyu Buddhism and many citizens believe in the concept of "Kanyin-Zungdrel," meaning "Kagyupa and Ningmapa as one."

Since 1970, the repairs of the monasteries have been the duty of local governments. Thus, economic burden of the monasteries has been greatly reduced. Th famous religious sites in Bhutan include Punakha Dzong and Tashichho Gzong.

Religion weighs a lot in Bhutan society and people’s life, remaining its say in today’s politics, economy, military, culture and people’s daily life.

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