“Learn more about the Iglesia ni Cristo denomination….”
Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is also known as “Church of Christ” (in English term). It is a Christian religious group that originated in the Philippines and was founded by Felix Manalo in July 27, 1914. Manalo was the first executive minister of the group and headed it until 1963. Even after his death in 1963, the denomination has continued to grow and become a nation-wide church. By that time, it has about 1,250 chapels and 35 large cathedrals all over the Philippines. Erano Manalo, son of Felix Manalo, assumed his position as the denomination leader. He established different campaigns to grow and widen the scope of the church in the international scene. Eventually, Eduardo V. Manalo succeeded the executive minister position after Felix Manalo’s death on August 31, 2009. In 2000, Iglesia ni Cristo was considered as the third largest religious group in the country covering 2.3 percent of the Philippines’ population.
Iglesia ni Cristo’s beliefs have faced several controversies. One of which is the claim that its doctrines are restorationist in theme and outlook. However, the church emphasizes its independence stating that it does not belong to any major religious groupings or is not affiliated to any religious federation bodies. Primarily, Iglesia ni Cristo religion believes that the Bible is the only foundation and basis of all their practices. Members of the church highly believe in several fundamental teachings which they considered to be based on the scriptures. These are the following:
- God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
- Unity, Morality and Lawfulness
- Judgement Day
Followers of Iglesia ni Cristo attend regular worship services twice a week (one on weekdays and one on weekends) without failure. Children’s scheduled worship services usually take place every weekend. There are different activities during the service, such as prayers, singing of hymns, bible studies and collection of offerings. Every member of the church is expected to be present during the congregational service as they strongly believe that willfully renouncing the worship day is a grievous sin.
Iglesia ni Cristo is known for its active political involvement specifically during the Philippine elections. They gained a reputation in blog voting. The church usually choose candidates and offer their full support. Aside from politics, members of Iglesia ni Cristo likewise support different humanitarian services including environment protection and other outreach programs.