Buddhism was introduced in Laos quite late (in the 8th century). However, it was not until the 14th century did Buddhism develop and widespread in the country. The history of Laos recognized many kings to be important patrons of Buddhism.
At the middle of 20th century, there was a conflict between politics party about the role of monks and ced Buddhism in the political and social life. Since 1979, Buddhism has become stable and received the support from the government. From then on, Buddhism together with Maxism has been the political platforms of Laos.
Like Cambodia and Thailand, Laotians in lowland and midland follow Theravada Buddhism. With more than 5,000 temples (Wat) in the country, Buddhism has become the dominant religion in Laos. Each temple is the place for religious place as well as cultural center for the whole community around. These temples are village identity and reflect the material and spiritual life of surround community. Wats are not only the place for ceremonies and festivals but also giving the basic education for village boys from monks. There are up to 22,000 monks in which there are nearly 9,000 senior monks in Laos. They are highly respected and have a voice in making important decisions which affect the whole community. Although Theravada Buddhism dominates the religion of Laos, there are some Mahayana Buddhism temples in Vientiane for Vietnamese ethnic.