Difference Between Catholicism and Buddhism

Many Asian countries follow Buddhism as their core religion and Catholicism is followed globally by a mass of people.  Religion influences people and their culture. Both religions are largely followed in major countries in the world. Several factors determine the separate forms of Buddhism and a few of them is explained below: In the past, Buddhism religion has helped Catholic people which has positively influenced them.

Catholicism vs Buddhism 

The Difference between Catholicism and Buddhism is that Catholicism observes the teaching of the Roman Catholic Pope on the other side Buddhism follows the approaches of Gautam Buddha. Catholicism has rosary and scapular as a prayer element and Buddhism has prayer beds as prayer element. Catholicism is more about respecting God and Buddhism is more about improvised teachings

Catholicism vs Buddhism

Catholicism is largely followed by the people of Non-Asian countries. It is based upon the omnipotent god namely Jesus Christ who started the catholic religion in the 1st century AD during the era of the Roman Empire. They believe that there is only one God. The Priest of the Catholic community is addressed by the name of “Father”.

Buddhism is somehow similar to Hinduism from a religious perspective. People of the Buddhism religion do meditation as a prayer practice and try to achieve the Nirvana stage according to the teaching of Lord Gautam Buddha. Followers of Buddhism are addressed as Buddhists. Tripitaka is the holy scripture of the Buddhism people.

Comparison Table Between Catholicism and Buddhism

Parameters of ComparisonCatholicism Buddhism
TeachingsCatholicism mainly follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.Buddhism mainly considers the teachings of the Gautam Buddha.
Holy BooksCatholicism mainly observes Bible as their Holy Book.Buddhism has Sutras, Pali Canon, and word of mouth as religious text along with Tripatika as Holy Book.
Elements Catholicism has grace elements to focus on.Buddhism puts more emphasis on personal efforts.  
LeaderCatholicism has an omnipotent god as an ancestral leader.Buddhism is further divided into many categories, therefore, no concept of omnipotent.
FoundationCatholicism was founded by Jesus christ as per sacred tradition.Buddhism was founded firstly by Siddhartha.

What is Catholicism?

Catholicism is mainly observed in western countries as a primary religion. People who follow Catholicism are prominently called Christians. They follow the teachings of Lord Jesus primarily. The grand festival celebrated by them is Christmas as a birth date of Jesus and they also celebrate Good Friday in April in the memory of Jesus Christ who was reborn on this day. 

Jesus Christ was blessed with divine abilities to heal anything therefore people of Rome first addressed him as God. Catholics say “we all are one spirit”. They offer payers in churches and Chapels where the head priest is present as Father. To show the gesture of respect and love they light up candles in Church. 

In Catholicism, the way to connect to God is through prayer. To pass on the teachings of Jesus they read Bible as their religious text. On average, there are 1.33 billion people today who follow Catholicism in the world. Divorce is not allowed in the Catholic tradition, unlike Christianity. 

Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity. Catholics follow their ritual, traditions, and beliefs systematically. They strongly trust their priest to confess their sins for the absolutions. The literal meaning of the term Catholicism is ‘according to the whole’.

What is Buddhism?

The term Buddhism originated  2500 years ago. It is a largely followed religion in Asian countries. They offer their prayers in Monastry and follow the path of Gautam Buddha. Buddhism is further denominated in Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Holy Buddhism. This religion believes that no one dies permanently, every human soul rebirth and faces the karmas. Lord Siddhartha initiated this religion to break the process of rebirth and to achieve the Nirvana-Moksha. 

They consist of 500-600 million followers around the world. discourses, discipline, and commentaries are the main three categories under the religious text of Tripatika that belongs to Buddhism. Similar to other religions they too have profound pasts and beliefs for their religion. 

The core Buddist do not marry and stay away from the concept of lies and sins. The objective of this religion is to overcome mental illness and to connect with the inner soul through meditation. This religion was first found in the Indian sub-continent originally and established in the 6th century BC.  

The 3 primary guidance of Buddhism Religion is as follows: 1. The Four Noble Truths, 2. The three Universal Truths, and lastly The Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhism has 4th ranking in Largest following religion globally. 7% Population of the globe falls under the umbrella of Buddhism.

Main Differences Between Catholicism and Buddhism

  1. Concept: Catholicism largely emphasizes Salvation and Buddhism follows the concept of liberation that relates to nirvana. 
  2. Gesture to pray: Catholicism religion light up a candle at the time of prayer and in Buddhism they ring a bell in a circular movement. 
  3. Reincarnation: Catholicism does not believe in the concept of after-death reincarnation whereas Buddhism believes in the same concept.
  4. Place of Prayer: In Catholicism, the place where prayers are performed is called the church on the contrary Buddhism perform their prayer in Monastery. 
  5. Practise Followed: Catholicism, strongly believes in Karma and Buddhism strongly believes in sin that is purely negative.


These two religions are not similar in many contexts of tradition and rituals. Catholics considered the Pope as the highest level of authority. The respect and rules of Bishop and priest are mandatory to follow in Catholicism. Being are part of Christianity Catholics follows similar tradition like Christians.

In Buddhism, the truth of suffering is the first sacred truth of Buddhist people. The teachings of Siddhartha are the priority in religion. Siddhartha was born in a Kshatriya family and sacrifice family and happiness at the age of 19 for the attainment of Nirvana.

In Catholicism, the Priest and Bishop can be male-only, Females cannot enjoy the privilege of Bishop and Priest. Apart from this, Women can only attain the position of the nun. Instead of Divorce for marriage separation, they follow annulment in the church for separation from spouse.


  1. https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/9/1/3
  2. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/735325/summary
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