CARPies around the World
This year, Korea hosted the first World CARP Assembly in quite some time, and I think the thing that participants appreciated most about it, was the chance to get to know our international community. Many of us were meeting each other for the first time, but it didn’t feel like we were strangers. Many of us did not speak the same language, but we were able to communicate with each other. Bonds were formed, and a concern for the other developed. I met one member of J CARP (CARP in Japan), Hanayo Ita. She is studying art at Chiba University, a college in Japan, which is one of many openly discriminating against the Unification church and CARP. At this particular school, Dr. Momoko Miyano prevents students from joining CARP, which is a violation of students’ right to freedom of thought and consciousness. Furthermore, this particular professor criticizes the Unification Church in her class and assigns papers to her students on the Unification Church for the purpose of perpetuating a negative attitude towards us.
How would I feel as a student at Chiba University? Indignant. How would you feel as a student at Chiba University? It is not right to be discriminated against at all, let alone before you even set foot on your college campus, simply because you are a Unificationist.
I am grateful that this World CARP Assembly gave us an opportunity to put a personal face on this issue in Japan and meet members who are trying to succeed under blatantly discriminatory conditions. Fortunately, our international network gives us an edge in dealing with the issue. I see the importance of supporting each other across national boundaries, because we are all Unificationists. If we don’t do something about it, who will? So what can we do about it?
One way we can help out from the states is by addressing negative/false information printed about the Unification Church in textbooks which are currently being used in World Religions, Psych, and sociology classes around America. If you have come across one such textbook during your college tenure, let us know, so we can deal with it together! One student who succeeded in removing false and discriminatory information from her World Religions textbook at Marist College is Sammi Vanderstock—who also happens to be a member of our 4.0 club and recipient of a Winter Ball Academic Excellence Scholarship ;).