IGLESIA NI CRISTO
The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC, Filipino for Church of Christ) is a religion originating in the Philippines. Noted for its chapel architecture of narrow-pointed spires, it was founded and registered with the Filipino government by Felix Manalo on July 27, 1914, and claims to have been established by Jesus in the last days through fulfillment of biblical prophecies.
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.
Ever since former Philippine president Manuel L. Quezon created a lasting friendship after asking Felix Manalo for advice, the INC has been known for its strong political influence. It was well-known for its support of Ferdinand Marcos until his ouster during the EDSA Revolution of 1986. INC members are noted for their bloc voting in Philippine elections, and some Philippine media credit the INC bloc vote for the presidential campaign victory of Joseph Estrada in 1998, and the re-election of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004. In contrast, Arroyo's father, Diosdado Macapagal refused INC's preferred support during his runs for Vice President in 1957, and re-election for President in 1965–in which he incidentally lost to Marcos. Based on his political and religious views, he referred to the INC as "harmful to democracy because it forces its believers to vote solidly in elections" in his autobiography.
Until 2000, the INC also distributed lists of supported candidates for elections in the United States.
God's Message (formerly Pasugo) is the INC's monthly magazine. Printed in both Tagalog and English, the magazine consists of letters to the editor, news from locales worldwide, religious poetry, articles relating to INC beliefs, a directory of locales and schedules of worship services.
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.
The INC's center of operations is the Iglesia Ni Cristo Central Office in New Era, Quezon City. The central office is currently being administered by executive minister Erano G. Manalo and deputy executive minister Eduardo V. Manalo, who are the son and grandson of Felix Y. Manalo, respectively. The church owns and operates the New Era University, New Era Hospital (both near the headquarters in Diliman), and broadcasts its religious programs with its own stations, 1062 kHz DZEC-AM radio and the NET-25 television station under its Eagle Broadcasting Corporation.