Christian Potenza is a Christian University student who is struggling with a religious conversion.
Christian’s brother, Christian Carino, has said that his sexuality and religious faith is not his issue, but the university’s decision to put him on the school’s theological register has made him feel unwelcome.
“I’m a little bit upset, not the religious aspects of it, but it’s also the university being very strict and controlling,” Christian told the ABC.
“It was just a shock to me and I’m not going to be able to attend church anymore.”
Christian’s religious conversion has prompted protests at the university, with students and faculty holding signs and speaking out against the church’s stance.
“I don´t want to be bullied into believing in something I don´ve done,” Christian said.
“They should be able choose whether or not to go to church, whether or no religion.”
Christian said his university should be open to religious conversion, but that the church should be allowed to choose what religion it wants to promote.
“What the church does in terms of the teachings, the rituals and so on is their own,” he said.
“The university should have the freedom to promote their religion and I would hope that they would do so.”
Christian has started a petition against the university that has gathered over 4,000 signatures.
“To the administrators of this university, I’m asking you to take a moment to reflect on the situation,” Christian wrote in the petition.
“As a Christian, I would like to see your university become more inclusive of religious groups and allow all students the freedom of religion, whether they be Christian, Jewish, Muslim or atheist.
I hope that you will listen to the concerns of all students, and allow us to be free to worship in the way that we want.”