Feature

The Youth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Vow to Transform the Land

From the 2017 Youth Training Course.

The youth of SGI-Democratic Republic of the Congo are steadily increasing their membership.


Yves Matadi, the youth leader of the SGI-Democratic Republic of the Congo, was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism in 1998 while he was in law school. He initially started practicing to support a friend who was shunned by his family for becoming a Buddhist. However, Mr. Matadi quickly saw the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in his own life when he improved his grades in his most challenging classes.

SGI-DRC Youth Leader Yves Matadi at the SGI Youth Training Course, September 2017. Photo: David Witkowski.

Moved by the changes in his life, Mr. Matadi began introducing many people to Nichiren Buddhism, including one of his brothers. He ran into a major obstacle, however, when his eldest brother threatened to fire his other brother from his company if he continued to practice Buddhism. Mr. Matadi determined to show undeniable actual proof of Buddhism to his eldest brother. It took 19 years, but in May 2017, his eldest brother not only accepted that his two younger brothers had changed their lives through practicing Buddhism, but he also became an SGI member.

“The SGI-DRC Is Unstoppable.”

While the country faces steep challenges with political instability, SGI-DRC is making great leaps in their kosen-rufu movement toward November 18, 2018. This July, they held a special Gohonzon conferral ceremony, where some 100 new members received the Gohonzon with a vow to widely propagate Nichiren Buddhism in their communities and transform their land from one of division to one of harmony. Due to the vast geographic landscape, some new members had traveled 900 miles to receive the Gohonzon. The leaders then traveled the same distance to help them enshrine the Gohonzon in their homes.

SGI-DRC is now a chapter, and Mr. Matadi was appointed the youth leader. Mr. Matadi conveyed his vow to realize kosen-rufu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, no matter what. He said of the recent Gohonzon conferral ceremony: “It is impossible to describe the joy people felt when receiving the Gohonzon. The SGI-DRC is unstoppable.”

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