Massive crowd joins INC anniversary celebration
(The Philippine Star) - July 26, 2015 - 10:00am

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Philippines  – Denying their flock is divided, an estimated 500,000 members of the politically influential religious group Iglesia ni Cristo gathered at the Philippine Arena in this town yesterday, eve of the INC’s 101st anniversary.

The executive minister of the 2.25-million strong INC, Eduardo Manalo, gathered his flock amid the crisis it is facing such as the alleged corruption in the church and the supposed kidnapping of INC ministers.

The INC marks its 101st anniversary today without any festivity.

Manalo led the event dubbed “edifying special worship service” at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena, which was beamed to 1,712 INC sites worldwide.

“Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat mga kapatid kahit na sa panganib na sinusuong ko (My dear brethren, I love you all even amid the danger I’m facing now),” said Manalo in his message to INC members.

“Our church was built by Christ and all our teachings and doctrines are from the Bible, and not a single of it was invented unlike other religions,” he said.

Reports said Manalo did not directly address the issues involving the INC. The church leader, however, reportedly took a subtle swipe at critics.

He urged INC members to strengthen their faith and not to believe the messages on social media that are meant to destroy the religious group amid the power struggle within their family.

Manalo’s brother, Felix Nathaniel “Angel” Manalo, earlier expressed his disappointment over the alleged corruption in the INC.

Last Thursday, a YouTube video of Angel appealing for help went viral, along with a voice clip – supposedly of his mother Cristina “Tenny” Manalo. They said their lives were in danger and that some of the INC’s ministers critical of the church’s leadership were being held against their will.

The INC decided to expel Tenny and Angel. It has also denied the allegations of corruption and kidnapping and instead urged members to strengthen their faith.

Binay: INC can weather crisis

Vice President Jejomar Binay believes that INC can weather the crisis it is facing.

In his message on the 101st anniversary of the religious group, Binay said “challenges are part of life.”

ACIRC BINAY BULACAN EDUARDO MANALO FELIX NATHANIEL INC LAST THURSDAY MANALO PHILIPPINE ARENA TENNY AND ANGEL VICE PRESIDENT JEJOMAR BINAY
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