New membership figures announced
On November 18, 2021, the 91st anniversary of its founding, the Soka Gakkai global Buddhist organization announced that it has adopted the Soka Gakkai Charter to further articulate its purposes and the ideals and principles guiding its activities in the realm of social engagement.
With a preamble and 10 principles covering topics from education to sustainability and respect for other religions, the Soka Gakkai Charter builds on and replaces the SGI (Soka Gakkai International) Charter that was adopted in November 1995 as a written statement of the ideals and principles of the SGI within the international community.
The quarter-century since the adoption of the SGI Charter has seen increasing appreciation for diverse expressions of the human experience. Further, new challenges, concepts and terms have emerged in various fields including approaches to security, human rights, humanitarian protection and the environment. The Soka Gakkai Charter refers explicitly to gender equality, the abolition of nuclear weapons and working toward a just and sustainable world.
Tamotsu Sugiyama, Executive Director of the International Office of Public Information of the Soka Gakkai, commented: “We hope that our members around the world will see the Soka Gakkai Charter as an expression of the social mission they are encouraged to fulfill as Buddhists, and that they will continue to forge a sense of human solidarity for the sake of peace through their wholehearted efforts to put the ideals expressed in the Charter into practice.”
The Soka Gakkai has reconfirmed its determination to promote grassroots activities based on the spirit of the Charter and the Buddhist teaching of respect for the dignity of all life, raising the banner of global citizenship and with an unwavering commitment to nonviolence and the culture of peace.
Also, the Soka Gakkai has updated its membership figures as follows:
- North America: 352,000
- Central and South America: 325,000
- Asia and Oceania (outside Japan): 1,910,000
- Europe: 162,000
- Africa and Middle East: 51,000
The membership in Japan is still given as 8.27 million households.
The Soka Gakkai is a global community-based Buddhist organization promoting peace, culture and education. Its members study and put into practice the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.
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