Steven, thank you for adding your perspectives on this. I will presume you know more about Buddhism than I do, so your input is much appreciated. My reference to Buddhism as more of a philosophy than a religion was based largely on two ideas (and here, too, I might be mistaken): 1) I wasn’t aware of Buddhism looking like formal, institutionalized faiths where adherents are obligated/pressured to worship and bring tribute to a centralized leader, and 2) Buddhism seems to lack a formal deity. But you’re right that many adherents around the world would almost certainly describe their practice as a religious one. Fantastic point.
Thank you again!