Noy thanks Iglesia ni Cristo for support
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino thanked the religious organization Iglesia ni Cristo for its continued support during the group’s 100th anniversary celebration in Bocaue, Bulacan.

In his speech at the inauguration of the INC’s multibillion-peso Philippine Arena, Aquino cited Bible verses that elicited loud applause from the audience, and which made him quip that even old colleagues would get surprised every time he quoted from the Holy Book.

“Anyway, it is written, whatever you did for one of the least (of these brothers and sisters of mine), you did for me,” Aquino said, pointing out that in John 13:34-35, Jesus’ followers were told to love one another “as I have loved you.”

The INC, known for voting as a bloc during elections, supported Aquino during the presidential polls in 2010. It has an estimated command vote of five to eight million and has ministries in 102 countries.

Aquino hailed the INC as a partner of the administration in good governance and in serving others, especially those in need.

“We give our heartfelt thanks to the Iglesia ni Cristo for your concern to your fellowmen; you are truly showing this not just in words but in actions,” the President said in Filipino.

Aquino noted that a lot of organizations pay a great deal of respect to the INC as an institution, not only in the Philippines but throughout the world, since its establishment in 1914 by then executive minister Felix Manalo.

Aquino was personally supportive of the INC because of its love and concern for members as true servants of God.

The INC is known as a close-knit religious organization where congregation leaders visit their members and actively encourage them to participate in church activities and community services.

Aquino said he was grateful to know that the arena would serve not only their members but other Filipinos of different religious affiliations and foreign tourists as well.

The arena is within the INC’s complex Ciudad de Victoria, and is double the size of the famous Staples Center in Los Angeles, California in the United States.

Ciudad de Victoria, according to the President, serves as a concrete example of the exceptional unity manifested by the people of INC through the years.

The 51,000-seat arena cost more than $200 million to build and is sturdy enough to withstand natural calamities, including super typhoons and earthquakes, the INC said in a statement.

Apart from the world’s largest arena, other major infrastructure projects expected to rise soon in the Ciudad de Victoria are New Era University, Eraño G. Manalo Medical Center, as well as housing projects, shops and leisure parks. – With Dino Balabo, Ding Cervantes, Ric Sapnu

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