The Council of Churches of Greater Washington is attempting to organize the more than 40 Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese area churches into an oriental council of churches that would be a component of the largest body.
"I have been meeting with the Korean Council and leaders fo the Chinese community" to encourage them to band together, said the Rev. Ernest R. Gibson, executive director of the Council of Churches of Greater Washington.
"We have not talked extensively with the Vietnamese," he said, "because they are still at an early stage of assimilating into the American communities. The council participated in helping settled them when they arrived."
"I think the greatest contribution the council can make (to Washington's Oriental community) is to help with immigration problems, adaptability, and the impact of immigration on the new immigrants' children," said the Rev. Man King Tso, pastor of the Chinese Community Church, 1011 L St. NW.
Tso has been "instrumental" in organizing the proposed council component, which should be a few years in the making, according to Gibson.
Both Gibson and Tso feel the first thing the council can do is foster "mutual understanding" between police and new arrivals.
"Many Orientals may not know exactly the function of police," said Tso. "In China, in Vietnam, in Korea, and in Japan, the citizens more or less consider the police as people who prefer to use force to maintain security, without knowing that here in American, the police have different functions to help the citizens."