Iglesia Ni Cristo

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  • Topic: Iglesia ni Cristo, Philippines, Felix Manalo
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  • Published : January 27, 2006
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Iglesia ni Cristo

Iglesia ni Cristo's first chapelThe Iglesia ni Cristo (also known as INC or Iglesya ni Kristo; Filipino for Church of Christ) is an independent religious organization which originated in the Philippines.

The INC was incorporated in the Philippines by Felix Manalo on July 27, 1914; The church professes to be the reestablishment of the original church founded by Jesus and does not accept the doctrine of the Trinity, including the deity of Jesus.

The Iglesia ni Cristo's architecture is notable for the narrow-pointed spires of its chapel buildings.

Contents
1 Background information
2 Missionary activities
3 Central office
4 Politics
5 Criticism
5.1 From religious groups
5.2 Secular criticism
6 See also
7 External links
7.1 Pro
7.2 Con
7.3 Other related links
8 References

Background information

Felix Manalo on the cover of the PasugoThe 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.

Felix Manalo was deeply religious as a child and joined many religious organizations as a young adult, leaving each after finding teachings which he felt contradicted those in the Bible. He proclaimed that God gave him a mission to preach the gospel and to reestablish the first church founded by Jesus.

The INC began with a handful of followers on July 27, 1914 in Punta, Santa Ana, Manila; with Manalo as its head minister. 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 Felix Manalo's death in 1963, his son Eraño took over duties as executive minister and Eduardo V. Manalo is the deputy executive minister.

Although estimates vary, the INC has become possibly the second-largest single Christian religion in the Philippines. The official Philippine government website lists its membership as 2.3% (similar to that of the Philippine Independent Church) of the predominantly Catholic population.

It has grown to over three thousand congregations in over eighty-four countries and territories throughout the world. It has a notable presence in Hawaii and California, which have a sizable population of immigrants from the Philippines and of Filipino descent. Although the church does not disclose the exact number of members, the Catholic Answers apostolate estimates its worldwide membership as ranging from 3 to 10 million.

Missionary activities
In the Philippines, radio and television programs are produced, and they are broadcast on 1062 kHz DZEC-AM radio and the Net 25 television station–both owned by the INC's Eagle Broadcasting Corporation. Programs are broadcast weekdays, 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight Philippine local time.

In North America, a television program called "The Message" is produced by 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.

There is also a magazine available to INC congregations worldwide entitled God's Message (formerly known as Pasugo). God's Message is printed in both Tagalog and English editions, with some issues being partly in both languages. 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...
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