The Kalmyks, Europe’s Only Native Buddhists

We usually think of Buddhism as being an Asian religion and for the most part that is true. But not entirely. To explain why this is the case it will be necessary to go back several hundred years in history. Dzungaria was a region in what is now the province of Xinxiang in the far west of China. The people who used to live there were a sub-group of Mongols and were a tough nomadic people. By the beginning of the 15th century they had all converted to Buddhism as a result of Tibetan missionary monks and they looked to the Dalai Lama as their spiritual leader.



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