Theravada remains the dominant faith in Myanmar from pre-Christian times. The premier stupa shrine Swedagon pagoda is said to contain hair relics of the Buddha enshrined by Tapassu and Bhalluka. Buddha’s first lay disciples. Asoka is said to have sent emissaries to the country to propagate Buddhism in the 3rd century BC. Pagan in north Burma became the premier Buddhist centre in the 11th century. As in Sri Lanka, royal patronage continues to the present day. Maintains close religious links with Sri Lanka.

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