How to deal with others who get offended that I am Buddhist?

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    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I live in the United States which is full of many Christians. However when I tell others I am Buddhist I get lectured, harassed, and sometimes face verbal abuse from others.
    I left the Christian religion 1 year ago because of mental, sexual harassment, and spiritual abuse. I am much happier now. Why are people so angry that I have made a decision that makes me happy? Some people try to convert me to their religion. I smile politely and let them talk but don’t try to cause conflict. How can I set boundaries? I don’t tell people what religion to follow or force my beliefs on them. How can I deal with such unkind or pushy people? I have decided In a few years I wish to move abroad somewhere away from USA to study and go to a country where Buddhism is more the norm and has less Christianity just to feel like I don’t face this treatment anymore. I don’t feel I belong in the USA anymore because of my change in beliefs. It is difficult to fit in this country and I noticed my beliefs cause conflicts with others even though I am not intentionally causing upset or emotional harm to anyone. How can I navigate this?</p>


    Why do you feel the need to tell people you are a Buddhist? Life is full of lessons to be learned. Running away from it? Is that the answer? There was once a monk who spent his time alone as a hermit. Sit in Meditation. Attain peace of mind. But as soon as he went to the city, all the noise came back. He could not meditate. He could not hold his own. So what good was his accomplishments? The lectures and harassment comes from you. Change your behavior and other will change their. You are the one pulling the pin on the grenade. Anyway, I wish you the best and hope you find a good teacher and sangha.


    When people ask you what religion do you believe in? Do you say I am a Buddhist? Is this not the trigger that starts the lectures and harassments? Then why not say I am a person who learns from life the lessons that are presented to me. I find wisdom and compassion the leading reasons for living. Telling them what a Buddhist is?

    Yeah, it is difficult to be a believer when everyone else is yelling at you to listen to them. Personally, I find religion to be very demanding. One must live and pray their way or they are not a good person. Finding a good teacher and a sangha is important for spiritual growth.


    Dear Kiersten

    I am one of just a few Buddhists in our community of 2000. I am the most visible as I set up and run our local meditation centre since 2007.  Over the years people have seen me walk my talk and now in the last couple of years I have been accepted by the local christian communities to the extent that I am now invited to participate on equal footing with the other various ministers in a couple of the important annual ceremonies.

    I have just ordered a book called Jesus & Buddha as brothers by Thich Nat Han in order for me to find more common ground


    1. Stay Calm: Maintain composure when faced with offensive comments about your Buddhist beliefs.
    2. Educate: Share information about Buddhism calmly and respectfully to dispel misconceptions.
    3. Express Boundaries: Clearly communicate your boundaries and request respectful discussions.
    4. Focus on Common Ground: Emphasize shared values and similarities rather than differences.
    5. Lead by Example: Demonstrate the principles of compassion and understanding inherent in Buddhism.
    6. Seek Dialogue: Encourage open-minded conversations to foster mutual understanding.
    7. Surround Yourself: Connect with like-minded individuals who respect diversity to create a supportive environment.

    buddhism is not a religion that can be easily explained. it’s best to let people find out about it themselves and not talk about what means much to oneself. enjoy the silence, and the non-answers

    -=light in extension=-

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