Myanmar or Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. With a size of 676,578 square kilometres (261,228 square miles), Myanmar is the largest of the Mainland Southeast Asian states by area. As of 2017, the population is about 54 million. Its capital city is Naypyidaw, and its largest city is Yangon (Rangoon).
Myanmar is ethnically diverse. The government recognizes 135 distinct ethnic groups. There are at least 108 different ethnolinguistic groups in Myanmar, consisting mainly of distinct Tibeto-Burman peoples, but with sizable populations of Tai–Kadai, Hmong–Mien, and Austroasiatic (Mon–Khmer) peoples. is a multi-religious country. There is no official state religion, but the government shows preference for Theravada Buddhism, the majority religion of the nation.
Buddhism in Myanmar is predominantly of the Theravada tradition, practised by 88% of the country's population.It is the most religious Buddhist country in terms of the proportion of monks in the population and proportion of income spent on religion.
Adherents are most likely found among the dominant ethnic Bamar, Shan, Rakhine, Mon, Karen, and Chinese who are well integrated into Burmese society. Monks, collectively known as the Sangha, are venerated members of Burmese society. Among many ethnic groups in Myanmar, including the Bamar and Shan, Theravada Buddhism is practised in conjunction with nat worship, which involves the placation of spirits who can intercede in worldly affairs.