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THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO (Church of Christ)

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Iglesia ni Cristo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ)

The historical context of the Iglesia ni Cristo lies in a period of the early 20th century characterised by a variety of rural anti-colonialism movements, often with religious undertones, in the Philippines. At this time, U.S. missionary work was exposing Filipino culture to many alternatives to the Catholicism installed under earlier Spanish rule. [5]

After Bro.Felix Manalo joined and left many religious organizations as a young adult, [6] he proclaimed that God gave him a mission to preach the gospel and to reestablish the first church founded by Jesus. [7]

The INC began with a handful of followers on July 27, 1914 in Punta, Santa Ana, Manila; with Manalo as its head minister. [8] Bro.Manalo propagated his message within his local area, growing the Iglesia ni Cristo and converting members of other religions. As membership increased, he delegated others to spread the teachings of the INC and it eventually spread throughout the Philippines and to other countries. After Bro.Felix Manalo's death in 1963, his son bro.Eraņo took over duties as executive minister and bro.Eduardo V. Manalo is the deputy executive minister.

Much has grown from its early twentieth century beginnings. Now, it's not only local political leaders[9] who recognizes the successful expansion of the INC but even the Philippine House of Representatives[10].(wikipedia)

The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity mentions that the church has sometimes been called 'quasi-Christian'. [11]

According the 2000 census of the National Statistics Office, 2.3 percent of the population in the Philippines are affiliated with the Iglesia ni Cristo. [12]

Missionary Activities

INC members actively try to spread their beliefs, primarily by inviting people to Bible Studies and evangelical missions (known as Pamamahayag in Filipino), and by distributing religious magazines and pamphlets.

In the Philippines, radio and television programs are produced, and they are broadcast on 1062 kHz DZEC-AM radio, the Net 25 television station operated by Eagle Broadcasting Corporation, the broadcast division of the Iglesia ni Cristo and GEM TV, the sister station to NET 25, also owned by the INC and broadcast on cable.

In North America, a television program called The Message is produced by Bro. Edward Maranan on behalf of the Iglesia ni Cristo in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is currently aired in the United States and Canada and some parts of Europe. The 30-minute program is hosted by different INC ministers (alternating each show) who share the main beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo with a television audience. [13]

The official INC magazine available to INC congregations worldwide is entitled God's Message or Pasugo. For many years the INC published the bilingual Pasugo for the Philippines and a separate all-English God's Message International Edition for usage abroad. In January 2004, the administration of the INC began to publish only one magazine both in the Philippines and abroad bearing the name God's Message. While predominantly English, the latest version contains a Filipino Section. The magazine consists of letters to the editor, news from locales worldwide, religious poetry, articles relating to INC beliefs, a directory of locales outside the Philippines and would also feature a schedule of worship services until recently.

The INC does outreach work for the poor. It's housing developments such as "Tagumpay Village" and others are models of similar programs of the government[14]. It provides free medical and dental services through its "Lingap Sa Mamamayan" project. It also conducts community service acts such as street cleaning, blood drives and tree-planting activities. [15](from:


Membership in the INC is conferred through baptism. People who wish to be baptized in the INC must first submit to a formal process taking at least six months. Once someone officially registers with INC, the person is given the status of indoctrinee (or Bible Student, as they are called within the Iglesia ni Cristo), and taught the twenty-six lessons concerning fundamental doctrines of the INC. In the United States, there are an additional three lessons taught for a total of twenty-nine, which mainly contain information about the Church and its beginnings in the Philippines. These lessons are contained in the doctrine manual written by Eraņo G. Manalo entitled Fundamental Beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ). This book is only given to ministers, evangelical workers, and ministerial students of the INC. Each lesson is usually thirty minutes to one hour in length.

After hearing all of the lessons, the indoctrinees enter their probationary period during which they are required to attend fifteen once a week group prayer meetings wherein they are taught to pray and guided in their adjustment to the INC lifestyle.

When the sixth month comes, indoctrinees who have been active in attending the twice a week worship services and whose lifestyles are in accordance with INC doctrines are screened before being baptized. During the screening they are asked questions about the doctrines taught to them. Those who pass the screening are scheduled to be baptized.

Since understanding is necessary before being baptized in the INC, the minimum age for baptism is set at around eleven and at least the 6th grade. Newborn children of members are instead "offered" during the worship service. The child offering in the INC is done through a prayer led by an ordained minister of the INC. [16]

Members who are not living in accordance with the doctrines taught in the INC are admonished. Those who continue in violation of INC doctrines after being admonished are expelled from the INC. Certain violations, such as eating blood, marrying non-INC members, and not uniting judgement with the church such as voting for political candidates selected by the INC administration, usually result in mandatory expulsion after the first proven offense. [17](from wikipedia website)

The Iglesia ni Cristo has grown to become possibly the second-largest single Christian religion in the Philippines and has grown to thousands of congregations in over 84 countries and territories throughout the world. Although the church does not disclose the exact number of members, estimates of worldwide membership range from 3 to 10 million.

Central office

Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple in New Era, Quezon City, Philippines
Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple in New Era, Quezon City, Philippines

The INC's Central Administration is the Iglesia ni Cristo Central Office; a large, secured complex located on Commonwealth Avenue, New Era, Quezon City, Philippines. An editorial in the July 25, 2004 issue of Philippine Panorama Magazine described the complex as including: the six-story Central Office Building; the 7,000-seat Central Temple; the Tabernacle, a multi-purpose hall; the 30,000 seating-capacity Central Pavilion; the College of Evangelical Ministry; the New Era General Hospital; and the New Era University. There is also a residence for the family of Executive Minister, Eraņo G. Manalo on the premises as well as one for the family of Eduardo V. Manalo, the Deputy Executive Minister.

General Beliefs

There are 28 primary doctrines in the INC, some of which are: There is only one God, the Father; Christ, the Son of God, is a man and was sent by God to be the only mediator between men and God; the Bible is the sole basis for spiritual guidance; one needs to be commissioned by God in order to preach the Gospel; Felix Manalo is the fulfillment of several Biblical prophecies both from the Old and New Testaments, and was sent to reestablish the original Church of Christ.


There are four organizations in the Church, with all members belonging to one:Children's Worship Service or CWS, designed to help children understand INC teachings and prepare them for baptism.

1. Binhi, meaning "seed" for baptized members up to the age of 17.

2. Kadiwa, meaning "youth with pure intent" for unmarried members 18 and over.

3. Buklod, meaning "united in marriage" for all married members.Each organization's goal is to increase fellowship and unity between members of the same age group.

On average, each group has one meeting per month wherein messages from the administration are read, and activities such as sports and community programs are sponsored by each group in keeping with the same goal.


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