Buddhism vs Christianity: Diffusion

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Christianity and Buddhism are two very different religions. It's not surprising how they diffused and spread from one place, class, or person took different turns. Christianity began covertly, with secret cults and meetings; while Buddhism, from the beginning, agreed with the native religion, allowing it to be accepted in society and spread through monasteries and schools. However, they both did become incredibly popular and proliferate. There are multiple arguments that can be taken on to explain the differences in diffusion during this time period. Politically, Christianity posed a greater threat to the Jews than the Buddhists to the Hindus. Economics also played a role; Buddhism had the silk roads to travel and spread through. Religiously, Christianity and Buddhism were able to eventually appeal to multiple classes. It is observed that while both began ascetically, they evolved to fit the religious needs of different social classes and degrees of wealth.

The political situation of a country can affect religion. A political advantage is a huge advantage. Christianity did not become a majority religion until it gained political power; namely, with Constantine. Before so, Christianity was a minority--and in some cases persecuted. Rome was a large civilization, and when Constantine legalized and adopted Christianity, it spread to all the lands Rome had conquered--not only Italy or the immediate area of Rome. This greatly expanded the monotheistic Christianity through a pagan empire, gaining converts. You can also note political advocation for Buddhism from Ashoka as an example of the entertwining of politics and religion. Ashoka was a devout Buddhist who wished to spread his faith throughout the world. He built residences for Buddhist minks and donated to “viharas” and “mathas.” He inspired monks to compose religious texts and constructed great monuments to the religion. It is seen that these two religions both benefitted greatly through control of political...
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