Buddhism, the great eastern religion founded by the Indian Prince Siddhartha Gautama 600 years before the birth of Christ, first appeared in Thailand during the 3rd century B.C. in the area of the present day provincial capital Nakhon Pathom. Once established, it proved such a durable and pervasive force that some ethnic groups who migrated into that area during the Dvaravati period readily adopted it as their state religion. At its inception, Buddhism had been a reaction against Brahmanism, eschewing Brahmanism’s emphasis on caste and dogma regarding sacrifice and ritual. At the same time, it modified Brahmanic concepts of karma and rebirth.
At present Thailand is the location of the headquaters of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB),an international Buddhist organization consisting of 98 regional centers in 37 countries which promotes coordination and cooperation to enhance Buddhism throughout the world. H.E.Professor Sanya Dhamasakti, former Prime Minister and present President of the Privy Council of H.M. the king has been unanimously elected President of the WFB twice consecutively.