Mary and Buddha are both human and lived on earth (Mary 20BC and (Buddha 563 BCE). But why is it praying to Mary's statue called veneration and praying to Buddha an idolatry?

Why Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to venerate the statue of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.

Did apostles and early 33AD Christians pray to early prophets like Moses, Elijah? Just like the Catholics did to statues of Mary and apostles today?

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    @curiousdannii this is not a duplicate, and it makes sense on why Catholics consider praying to Mary a veneration and respect while they condemn other religions who use statues to be idolatry.
    – LayoutPH
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 8:03
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    Possible duplicate of How are prayer and asking the saints to intercede distinguished? Also related: Is veneration worship? Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 8:45
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    This will probably be closed but I think I get what your asking. Masybe you can ask 'From what principles do Catholics condemn pagan veneration of statues which are not applicable equally to the Veneration of Mary?' But you can probably guess the kind of answer. Mary has some kind of relationship to God but thos pagans statues are related to a different faith. However I wonder how it is different to those that Moses got angry with? They associated it with God also. You know when he threw the commandments at them!
    – Mike
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 14:12
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    You're asking more than one question here.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 15:21
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    This question is not a duplicate and should be reopened. He is not asking a general question about prayers to saints/mary, idolatry and statues, he is asking an entirely different question about why praying to Buddha is considered idolatry while praying to Mary is not. It is an interesting question and I would like to see an answer. I mean, if you pray to Buddha assuming that he is a saint and currently in relationship with God in Heaven, what is actually wrong with that? Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 4:45