Theravada was the longest lived of the Old Earth Southern Buddhism sects, and also the most conservative and traditional of the Buddhist sects, although practitioners now are very rare. On Old Earth it spread to south east Asia - mainly Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and parts of Vietnam, and reached its greatest extent in the 15th to 20th centuries. Although Southern Buddhism also spread briefly to the West and even acquired some adherents in the offworld colonies during the Interplanetary Age (the Metta Dhamma Loka Society based at Copernicus Habitat, Luna, at its height boasted a membership of 50,000 throughout the solar system and had an influence out of proportion to its size), most of its adherents remained on Earth. Following the Great Expulsion some of them set up small missionary centers in the Sol System, the Kuiper Belt, E Erandi and several of the moons of Tau Ceti III.
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Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 09 January 2002.