Not if you’re living in a country more religious than Iran (Romania), with 0,2% of the population non-religious and the rest christian, most of them medieval type of christians. Nobody except my Gf knows that I’m a buddhist and I’m pretty much the only one in the country.
Even in less religous countries, it’s very strange for a person to be a buddhist and it’s not something they would want others to know. It’s probably almost as worse as being gay. I am speaking here about all other central and eastern european countries, to say nothing of the middle east. (I’ve seen a buddhist from Jordan on DW)
PS: I felt pretty strange writing “I am a buddhist” in this message, it’s the first time I say this in my life. For a moment I wanted to write “have an interest in buddhism”
EDIT: Now that I stopped to think about it, having people know that you’re gay is definitely much worse than knowing you are a buddhist or atheist. It’s not like in the middle east but definitely not too far away from that. We also just modified the constitution yesterday to make gay marriage unconstitutional and the vote was unanimous, even the party voted by hipsters voted for it. But being gay is probably a little acceptable at least among some hipsters in bucharest and in the fashion industry, while the same can not be said about buddhism since all hipsters are christian.
I actually have a gay super hipster friend and I never told him that I’m a buddhist cause just like the rest 99,8% of the population, he is a devoted christian. He’s 26 and never had a boyfriend in his life because of how hard it is to find such persons while staying undercover. He never admitted being gay to me either, he claims he is “pansexual” or “bysexual” despite being 101% gay and I’m a pretty liberal person. That’s how important it is to keep things secret in some places.
The chiefs of the romanian orthodox church, witch are known to be pretty fundamentalist, some times have claimed in the media that other christian denominations such as Catholics, Protestants etc. are worshipers of the devil and their churches to be houses of the devil, that we should burn their books and work against their proselitizing efforts, etc. So imagine how bad most people see buddhist or atheists. There was a fire in a club last year in witch 55 people died, biggest catastrophe in last 30 years in romania. The chief of the church said they deserved it because it was a rock concert (actually it was pop-rock, not even hard rock) and “I always told you that rock music is the work of the devil but you never listened, now look what happened”. And saying something “is the work of the devil” is something very serious over here, basically the worst thing you can say about something.