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The presence of Buddhism in Iran may date as far back as the 5th or 6th century B.C., during the life of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni. A Pali legend suggests that the spread of Buddhism to Balkh was initiated by two merchant brothers from Bactria (present-day Afghanistan).[1]

In turn, some people of the kingdom of Parthia, such as An Shigao, were later active in spreading Buddhism in China around the 2nd century A.D. Many of the earliest translators of Buddhist literature into Chinese were from Parthia and other kingdoms linked with present-day Iran.[2] The Mongol ruler Ghazan converted to Shi'a Islam in 1310 AD and made it the state religion of Iran - and in the process removed Buddhism as well.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Golestan, Mehrak (December 2004), "History of the Buddhism in Iran", The Iranian, http://www.iranian.com/History/2004/December/Buddhism/index.html  
  2. ^ Willemen, Charles; Dessein, Bart; Cox, Collett; Gonda, Jan; Bronkhorst, Johannes; Spuler, Bertold; Altenmüller, Hartwig, Handbuch der Orientalistik: Sarvāstivāda Buddhist Scholasticism, Brill, pp. 128–130, ISBN 9789004102316  
  3. ^ Dunn, Ross E. (2005). The adventures of Ibn Battuta, a Muslim traveler of the fourteenth century. University of California Press. pp. 86. ISBN 9780520243859. http://books.google.com/books?id=Js8qHFVw2gEC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&source=bl&ots=Xsqgeqaq5U&sig=DQpIaLUoLoEF5H8M2rvLMxxHZp0&hl=en&ei=Fl4VS9K_HYPmlAeg8sy9BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CA4Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=&f=false.  
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