How many Buddhists in France?

So, how many Buddhists are there in France? The answer is more complicated than you think! Hang in there, we’re in for a fascinating journey.

Today, it is estimated that there are around 250,000 to 500,000 Buddhists in France. This number shows that Buddhism has not only found a place in France, but continues to grow in popularity and influence.

The Buddhist presence in France

Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world, but in France it is still considered “new”. Yet it has a rich and diverse history here.

History of the Buddhist presence

Buddhism was first introduced to France in the 19th century by intellectuals and travelers. Over time, its presence grew, largely thanks to immigrants from Asia.

The different currents of Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism

It is the most popular current in France. The Dalai Lama himself has visited France on several occasions, strengthening its appeal.

Zen Buddhism

Known for its meditation and aesthetics, Zen Buddhism has found a special place in the hearts of the French.

Theravada Buddhism

Less present than the others, but still significant, this trend is followed by a devoted minority.

Growth and popularity of Buddhism

Why so much attraction?

There is something in Buddhism that resonates with the French spirit. Is it the quest for inner peace or an alternative to hectic life?

The impact of celebrities

Figures like Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama popularized Buddhism to the masses. Cinema, literature and even fashion have played a role.

Emblematic practice locations

Buddhist temples and centers

France is home to many Buddhist temples and meditation centers, from the Pyrenees to the heart of Paris.

Challenges and criticisms

Cultural integration vs. doctrinal purity

There is a debate about integrating Buddhism into French culture while preserving its original essence.


  1. When was Buddhism introduced to France? In the 19th century.
  2. What is the most popular Buddhist movement in France? Tibetan Buddhism.
  3. How many Buddhists are there in France? Between 250,000 and 500,000.
  4. Why is Buddhism popular in France? For his philosophy of peace and thanks to the influence of celebrities.
  5. Are there real Buddhist temples in France? Yes, there are several temples and meditation centers across the country.

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