Japan's Soka Gakkai International (SGI) has established a small but growing chapter in Australia that in 2002 had about 2,500 members nationwide. Since its founding in the mid-1960s, SGI Australia (SGIA) has evolved into a highly heterogeneous movement dominated by ethnic Asians, of which a large number are Chinese from Southeast Asia. SGIA's appeal is both social and religious. A key factor for SGIA's growth is its emphasis on the concept of community. The fast pace of life, constant movement of people, and a sizeable growth of immigrants have created a sense of rootlessness among many Australians. SGIA's tradition of forming small chapters whose members often meet in each other's homes or community centers creates a tightly bonded group. SGIA members find their movement's form of Buddhism appealing because it is said to give them a greater sense of confidence and self-empowerment, permitting them to manage their own lives in a more creative manner.
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