What is Iglesia ni Cristo? Iglesia ni Cristo is a Christian denomination religion that originated in the Phillipines in 1914 under the leadership of Felix Manalo. An English translation of Iglesia ni Cristo is The Church of Christ. They believe that they are the one true church of God. Anyone who does not go to their church will burn in hell according to what their followers teach. They have their own 10 commandments that every member has to follow. Iglesia ni Cristo may believe that they are the one true church but they show many signs of being a cult.
The creator or founder of Iglesia ni Cristo is Felix Manalo. Manalo was born on May 10, 1886 to a Catholic family in the Philippines. He was baptized a Catholic and his mom was a devoted Roman Catholic. His mother made him attend Catechism class where he learned the fundamentals of the Roman Catholic faith. At his teenage years he went to try out 5 different denominations. He became a follower of the “Colorum” in the Philippines. The Colorum is secretive and had pilgrimages to a sacred mountain. He left that church as a teenager still. Manalo then joined a Methodist Episcopalian Church after watching a debate of a Protestant minister against a Roman Catholic priest. He then attended a seminary and afterwards became a pastor. he said that the minister’s points sounded closer to Biblical truth rather than, what he called, the rambling priest.
Felix Manalo’s studies were interrupted because his mother died. When he got back up on his feet, he started studying at the Presbyterian Bible School. He studied there until he came across the Christian Mission Group, where he studied at the Manila College of the Bible for four years. He later got married to Tomasa Sereneo of Paco in Manila. Manalo then participated in a
debate against a representative of a Seventh Day Adventist church. He lost the debate and converted to Seventh Day Adventist. This became the last association he had with any established church. During this time in Adventism he began to think of making his own church. His wife then died and he eloped with Honorata de Gusman. He was disciplined for elopement. He remained in Seventh Day Adventist until he began to question their observance of the Sabbath during Saturdays. When the Adventist did not answer his questions, he resigned as minister and member in 1913.
How did Iglesia ni Cristo start? Felix Manalo claimed to experience a call like the ancient prophets of God did. He isolated himself with the word of God for 3 days. After those 3 days he gave his shoe business to his friend. He took his wife and began his task to start a new church. His studies led him to the conclusion that none of the churches remain faithful with the biblical truth. Therefore, none of them are the true religion. He was so sure that God was trying to tell him to create the true church of Christ.
Iglesia ni Cristo has their own rules/regulations. They have their own 10 commandments. Their 10 commandments are: 1. You should not let your love for God grow cold.
2. You should not forsake the worship service.
3. You should not turn your back on your membership in the Church of Christ. 4. You should not lose your faith.
5. You should not live in the works of flesh or sin.
6. You should not violate the love of Brotherhood.
7. You should not neglect the house of worship or leave it in despair. 8. You should not neglect our mission to bear fruit.
9. You should not remiss in the performance of your duties.
10. You should neither rebel nor contend with the Church administration. Some of these commandments focus more on the church rather than God. Iglesia ni Cristo administration demands that each member submit without question to the demands of the INC administration. They believe that if you miss the INC worship service many times you will be delisted and go to hell. If you leave INC you will go to hell. If you lose your faith in the INC administration you will go to hell. There commandments sound more like they are worshipping the church instead of worshipping the Lord. They also believe that if you stick to the INC administration you will be saved. Members are required to send money all the time to support the Central Administration. They are not allowed to read the Bible alone. They have to read the Bible with their ministers. Members are not allowed to debate any issue regarding belief because they are not authorized to do that. Other beliefs are that they believe that God is the one true God. There are no 3 persons in one God. They deny the Trinity. By the time of Manalo’s death in 1963, the Iglesia ni Cristo had become a nation-wide church with 1,250 local chapels, and 35 large concrete cathedrals. His son Eraño Manalo became the next church leader and lead a campaign to grow and internationalize the church until his death on August 31, 2009, whereupon his son, Eduardo V. Manalo,
succeeded him as executive minister. In 2000 the Philippine census by the National Statistics Office found that 2.3 percent of the population in the Philippines are affiliated with the Iglesia ni Cristo, making it the third largest religious denomination in the Philippines after the Roman Catholic Church (80.9%) and Islam (5.0%), respectively. The Iglesia ni Cristo proclaims itself to be the one true church and claims that it is the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus and that all other Christian churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, are apostates. INC doctrines cite that the official registration of the church with the Philippine government on July 27, 1914, by Felix Y. Manalo who is referred to as the last messenger of God. Believers consider the church to be a fulfillment of biblical prophecy of the first church being reestablished in the Far East and the coming of the Seventh seal marking the end of days. Since February 1939, the church has been publishing Pasugo (English: God's Message) in both Tagalog and English. As of 2010 the God's Message Magazine also features a Spanish Section and in 2012 it has a German and Japanese Section. The historical context of the Iglesia ni Cristo lies in a period of the early 20th century characterized by a variety of rural anti-colonialism movements, often with religious undertones, in the Philippines. United States missionary work was exposing Filipino culture to many alternatives to the Roman Catholic Church, which had been installed under Spanish rule. The first overseas INC mission was sent in 1968 on its 54th anniversary. On July 27, 1968, Executive Minister Eraño G. Manalo, officiated at the first worship service of the church outside the Philippines. This gathering held in Ewa Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii marked the establishment of the Honolulu congregation, the first
overseas mission of the church. The following month, the Executive Minister was in California to establish the San Francisco congregation and lead its inaugural worship service. In 1971, the church set foot in Canada. In June 1987, the US Main Office (USMO) was set up in Daly City, California to assist the INC central administration in supervising the then 11 districts of the church in the West. The first local congregation in Latin America was established in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1990. The following year, the church reached Mexico and Aruba. From 2000 and beyond, congregations rose in the Central and South American countries. The first local congregation in Europe was established in England in 1972. The church came to Germany and Switzerland in the mid-70s. By the end of the 1980s, congregations and missions could be found in the Scandinavian countries and their neighbors. The Rome, Italy congregation was established on July 27, 1994; the Jerusalem, Israel congregation in March 1996; and the Athens, Greece congregation in May 1997. The predecessors (prayer groups) of these full-fledged congregations began two decades earlier. Meanwhile, the mission first reached Spain in 1979. The first mission in northern Africa opened in Nigeria in October 1978. After a month, the King William’s Town congregation, in South Africa was established. A congregation was organized in Guam in 1969. In Australia, congregations have been established since mid-1970s. The church first reached China by way of Hong Kong, and Japan through Tokyo also in the 1970s. Missions have also opened in Kazakhstan and Sakhalin Island in Russia. In Southeast Asia, the first congregation in Thailand was established in 1976 and missions have already been conducted
in Brunei since 1979. In addition, there are also congregations in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. The INC started operating a radio station in 1969. The Ministerial Institute of Development, currently the New Era University College of Evangelical Ministry, was founded in 1974 in Quiapo, Manila. It moved to its current location in Quezon City in 1978. As of 1995, it had 4,500 students and five extension schools in Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga and Rizal. In 1971, the INC Central Office building was built in Quezon City. Fifteen years later, the Central Temple was added in the complex. The Tabernacle, a tent-like multipurpose building which can accommodate up to 4,000 persons, was finished in 1989. The complex also includes the New Era University, a higher-education institution run by the INC.