By Chito Chavez
Local religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) on Monday said it conducted simultaneous worldwide outreach activities which included the distribution of “goodwill bags” to over a quarter-million beneficiaries in the Philippines and other parts of the globe.
Speaking at the INC central headquarters in Quezon City, INC Auditor General Glicerio Santos Jr. said the INC outreach initiative referred to “Aid to Humanity” or “Lingap sa Mamamayan” was part of the religious group’s efforts to “help those in need, here and beyond our shores.”
The event coincided with the 64th birthday of INC Executive Minister Edurado Manalo.
“This is in line with the directives of Ka Eduardo, who has called on the Church and its members to share our blessings with the poor and the underprivileged sectors in the countries where we are present,” Santos said.
Stressing his point, Santos said that aside from the Philippines, simultaneous “Aid to Humanity’’ activities were held in 219 sites in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Similar activities were likewise held in different parts of Europe and Southern Africa.
Santos revealed that a total of 750,000 beneficiaries received “goodwill bags” that contain basic staple goods such as food and toiletries in the Philippines and abroad.
Medical and dental missions were also conducted in several of the sites, including the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, where the biggest Lingap activity was held.
Santos added “in the Philippine Arena activity we had over 80,000 beneficiaries who, aside from receiving aid packages, were also given free medical and dental check ups”.
“The same medical services were also provided in Australia and Canada. In Japan, entertainment was also provided for our less fortunate brothers and sisters,” said Santos.
With parts of Mindanao reeling from a series of earthquakes, Santos revealed that homegrown INCs in these areas are now mobilizing resources that will provide aid for the victims of the quake-stricken areas.
“It is in times like these that we must extend to each other a helping hand. We are now coordinating with our churches in Mindanao to see what kind of aid packages will help the communities there the most,” Santos concluded.