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List of converts to Buddhism facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The following people are all converts to Buddhism, sorted alphabetically by family name.

From Abrahamic religions

From Christianity

From Islam

  • Wong Ah Kiu (1918–2006), Malaysian woman born to a Muslim family but raised as Buddhist; her conversion from Islam became a legal issue in Malaysia on her death
  • Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lankan cricket player who converted from Islam to Buddhism at the age of 16, previously known as Tuwan Muhammad Dilshan
  • Kenneth Pai, Chinese American writer of Hui descent

From Judaism

  • Peter Coyote (1941–), American actor and author
  • Surya Das (1950–), lama who founded Dzogchen Foundation and Centers
  • Tetsugen Bernard Glassman (January 18, 1939–), American Zen Buddhist roshi and co-founder of the Zen Peacemakers
  • Jack Kornfield (1945–), teacher in the vipassana movement of American Theravada Buddhism
  • Sharon Salzberg (1952–), meditation teacher and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society
  • Steven Seagal (1952–), American actor, producer, screenwriter, martial artist, and musician who holds American, Serbian, and Russian citizenship.

From Indian religions

From Hinduism

  • Ashoka, Emperor of Maurya Empire, India's largest empire
  • Aśvaghoṣa (80?–150 CE?), Indian Buddhist figure, philosopher- poet
  • B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956), converted from Hinduism
  • Jagdish Kashyap (1908–1976), Buddhist monk
  • Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan, Buddhist monk, writer, and scholar
  • Balachandran Chullikkadu (born 1957), Malayalam language poet from Kerala
  • Rahul Sankrityayan (1893–1963), Hindi author and translator
  • Iyothee Thass (1845–1914), Siddha practitioner and leader of the Dravidian movement
  • Lalai Singh Yadav (1921–1993), social justice activist and play writer. He translated Periyar E. V. Ramasamy's The Key To Understanding True Ramayan from Tamil to Hindi as Sachi Ramayan Ki Chabi
  • Laxman Mane (1949–), Dalit author and social worker
  • Rupa Kulkarni-Bodhi, social activist
  • Swami Prasad Maurya, politician
  • Udit Raj (1958–), prominent Indian social activist and Buddhist polemicist
  • Lenin Raghuvanshi (1970–), activist, one of the founding members of People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR)
  • S. N. Goenka, the foremost lay teacher of Vipassana meditation of Modern Time, Founder of multitude of Meditation Centers all-over the World, Raised in a Staunch Conservative Hindu Family in Burma.
  • Suresh Bhat (1932–2003), Indian poet and writer
  • Kabir Bedi (1946–), Indian film actor
  • Pracheen Chauhan, Indian television actor
  • Tisca Chopra (1973–), Indian actress, author and film producer
  • Barkha Madan, former Indian model, film actress, ordained a Buddhist nun and changed her name to Ven Gyalten Samten
  • Vinay Jain, Indian television actor
  • Poonam Joshi (1980–), Indian television soap opera actress
  • Shibani Kashyap, ndia singer
  • Sweta Keswani (1980–), Indian actress, dancer and model
  • Manav Gohil, Indian television actor

From other or undetermined

Richard Gere converted to Buddhism.
  • Robert Baker Aitken (1917–2010), co-founded the Honolulu Diamond Sangha
  • Reb Anderson (1943–), Zen teacher
  • Alistair Appleton (1970–), British television presenter
  • Stephen Batchelor (1953–), writer
  • Orlando Bloom (January 13, 1977–), actor who played Legolas in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
  • Kate Bosworth (1983–), American actress
  • John Cage (1912–1992), American composer
  • Arabella Churchill (1949–2007), English charity founder, festival co-founder, and fundraiser
  • Leonard Cohen, Canadian singer/songwriter/poet
  • John Crook (1930–2011), British ethologist
  • Ernest Fenollosa (1853–1908), American professor of philosophy and political economy at Tokyo Imperial University
  • Richard Gere (1949–), actor and activist for Tibetan causes
  • Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997), poet
  • Natalie Goldberg (1948–), writer
  • Herbie Hancock (1940–), jazz pianist who has also released funk and disco albums
  • Joseph Jarman (1937–), jazz musician and Jodo Shinshu priest
  • Miranda Kerr (1983–), model
  • k.d. lang, Canadian singer
  • Jet Li (1963–), actor
  • Courtney Love, American singer-songwriter
  • Menander I (died c. 130 BCE), Greco-Buddhist king (from pre-Christian Hellenistic religion)
  • Dennis Genpo Merzel (1944–), abbot of Kanzeon Zen Center
  • Alanis Morissette, Canadian singer-songwriter
  • Ole Nydahl (1941–), lama teacher
  • Tenzin Palmo 1943–), nun of Drukpa Kagyu lineage
  • Zeena Schreck (formerly LeVey) (1963–), a Berlin-based American visual and musical artist, author, the spiritual leader of the Sethian Liberation Movement (SLM), Tantric Tibetan Buddhist yogini and second daughter of the late Church of Satan's founder Anton LaVey.
  • Oliver Stone, American film director
  • Sharon Stone, American actress, producer, and former fashion model
  • Ajahn Sumedho (1934–), most senior representative of the Thai Forest Tradition in the Western hemisphere; abbot of the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK
  • Tan-luan (6th to 7th century), Chinese Buddhist monk important to Pure Land Buddhism (from Taoism)
  • Robert Thurman (1941–), Buddhist priest and writer who has been called "the Billy Graham of Buddhism"
  • Tina Turner (1939–), American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress who has won eight Grammy Awards
  • Philip Whalen (1923–2002), Beat generation poet and Zen monk
  • Adam Yauch (1964–2012), aka MCA, American rapper (member of Beastie Boys), songwriter, film director, and human rights activist

Related pages

  • List of Buddhists
  • List of Buddhist conversions in India
  • List of converts to Buddhism from Christianity
  • List of converts to Christianity
  • List of converts to Islam
  • List of converts to Hinduism
  • List of converts to Judaism
  • List of converts to Sikhism
  • List of people by belief
  • Index of Buddhism-related articles
  • Secular Buddhism
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