Catholicism/Christianity had the dark ages and the inquisition in which 'heretics' were prosecuted with violence. One could claim that Islam is currently in a period of high violence. Did Buddhism ever go through such a period?
Buddhism experience some very harsh periods. E.g.
- The destruction of Nalanda
- Decline of Buddhism in India due to many factors
- Kalinga Magha's invasion
- Persecution of Buddhists
Buddhism would have gone through some violent times in the Malay Peninsula also as it was predominantly Buddhist before.
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Well, Buddhists countries have had violent periods just as everyone else has, but I can't really think of any major violence committed by Buddhists with a religious motivation, at least not on a large scale. In China there was a rebellion called the Red Turban Rebellion that was caused by a strange breakaway Buddhist group called the White Lotus sect and they managed to overthrow the Yuan dynasty, and one of their military leaders took the throne as the Hongwu emperor. I don't know whether or not their rebellion was motivated by religion or just opportunism though.
When Buddhist tried to spread their religion into Japan, there were countless number of battles throughout Japan between Shinto and Buddhism. Today, Buddhism is regarded as a peaceful religion but it was introduced into Japan in a violent way and today it is integrated into Japanese people's faith as if that is their belief(when foreigners tries to identify their faith) when their original faith and still is Shintoism.