For a good Buddhist , is to always avoid any cause that will create bad effect, as we can see clearly in the 4 noble truths for example.

What is the Buddhist perspective during an hypotetic moment of tension , where antagonist religions that serve a demiurgic god for temporal power or maybe from a blind communist regime , will decide to manipulate and force pratictioners to not follow the Dharma anymore , closing monasteries , destroying sources , texts and deport and killing people in the name of an evil faith? (Look for example what the christians did in Europe in the last 1000 years or the muslim in the Kashmir region, chinese in Tibet and Jews in Palestine)

Fight or get killed?

I would like to have direct answers , not political nor mellifuous / hypocrite one.

  • 1
    I think this is an exact duplicate of a previous question, already answered (so I closed this one, and people can add answers to the previous one if they want to). If you think this question is a different question from the previous one (and therefore ought to be reopened) please clarify what's different about this one, what is this one asking that the previous one isn't.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 9:05

2 Answers 2


While violence and destruction is strongly discouraged in Buddhism, it is ok for a ruler or government of a country that adheres to Buddhist principles, to establish police and armed forces to:

  • protect and guard the people
  • ensure peace
  • ensure that justice prevails

Please see Pali sutta quotes below.

However, what about the hypothetical case of Buddhists being persecuted in non-Buddhist lands? Buddhists in this case, should not bear arms and become freedom fighters or terrorists, as that is against the first precept and also other teachings e.g. removing mental aversion.

In this case, persecuted Buddhists should either leave the country (as what the 14th Dalai Lama had done in March 1959) or pursue peaceful legal means of action (as what Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King had done) which could include petitions and letters to government officials and elected representatives, statements on media etc.

From DN 16:

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis duly protect and guard the arahats, so that those who have not come to the realm yet might do so, and those who have already come might live there in peace?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline."

From DN 26:

‘But sire, what are the noble duties of a wheel-turning monarch?’

‘Well then, my dear, relying only on principle—honoring, respecting, and venerating principle, having principle as your flag, banner, and authority — provide just protection and security for your court, troops, aristocrats, vassals, brahmins and householders, people of town and country, ascetics and brahmins, beasts and birds. Do not let injustice prevail in the realm. Pay money to the penniless in the realm.

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    great answer! thank you! Commented Oct 25, 2020 at 11:49

This is a good question and I pondered on this too. My conclusion is that it is not possible for invaders to concur with a Dhammic nation. Perhaps Tibet was concurred due to the drawbacks of the Mahayana religion. Perhaps in China, they persecuted the Muslims due to the drawbacks of Islam. (By the way, I am not endorsing any of these) If we follow true Buddhism, nobody can concur with us. According to my present understanding of Dhamma, nobody will be able to shake my faith. But I am not sure whether I will be able to pass that to the future generation.


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