BUDDHISM IN THE EAST
Buddhism was first introduced into Sri Lanka from India in the 3rd century BC by Mahinda, the son of King Asoka. There it achieved great popularity and is still flourishing today.
In the early centuries AD, Buddhism was introduced taken to Southeast Asia by merchants and missionaries. The great monuments like Borobudur in Indonesia and Angkor Thom in Cambodia are evidence of the splendor of Buddhism in these regions.
In the 1st century AD, Buddhism reached China where many Sutras were translated into classical Chinese.
In the 4th century AD, Buddhism found its way to Korea and on into Japan.
BUDDHISM IN THE WEST
Even before the 17th century, people in the West heard of the Buddha and his teachings from early travelers such as Marco Polo and Christian missionaries.
By the early 20th century, many Europeans had traveled to the East to study Buddhism. Some of them became monks and inspired Buddhism in the West. In the 19th century, Chinese and Japanese immigrants brought many different traditions of Buddhism to America. Today, there are numerous Buddhist centers spread across Europe and North and South America.