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Laos is a mountainous land-locked country in South-east Asia wedged between Thailand to the east and Vietnam to the west.

Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism penetrated into what into what is now Laos in the 7th century. In 1353 Laos emerged as a distinct political and cultural entity and Theravāda Buddhism became the state religion and remained so until the communist takeover in 1975. From then on all religions were persecuted but in a relatively mild way. With political liberalization in the 1990’s, Buddhism quickly re-emerged as an important part of the people's lives. As in Thailand, Laotian Buddhism is mixed with elements of animism. It is uncertain how many people in the country are Buddhist is uncertain but it could be as high as 60% to 98%.


See also