The influential Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) has become a moral compass for Filipinos as well as a beacon of hope as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic, according to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
In a statement, Panelo lauded the INC’s contributions to nation’s spiritual health as well as commended its “selfless acts of kindness” as it marks its 107th anniversary on July 27.
“We wish to send our greetings to Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo, together with the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo, as they celebrate their 107th anniversary,” Panelo said.
“It is undeniable that the prosperity of the Iglesia is inseparable from the modern history of the Philippines. Over the course of more than a century, the Iglesia ni Cristo has served as a spiritual tuning fork for the faithful and has corralled those who have been led astray. It has been a moral compass for the Filipino people leading us to the path of the true north towards our Creator,” he said.
Panelo also lauded the INC for helping the nation overcome the pandemic and urged its members to sustain their strong faith.
“Most importantly, during this time of uncertainty and anxiety as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iglesia ni Crusto has served as a shining beacon of hope for the Filipino. With fidelity to God as its core principle, they have served as a firm anchor for the faithful and has helped our nation persevere,” he said.
“We, therefore, hope that this milestone may further encourage the followers of the Iglesia ni Cristo to strengthen their faith even as they continue with their selfless acts of kindness toward others,” he added.
The country continued to battle to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, that so far infected more than 1.5 million Filipinos since the pandemic started last year. Several parts of the country remained under stricter community quarantine rules to stem the virus spread.
In the same statement, Panelo said INC’s successes as well as contributions to the nation’s development have been “truly remarkable” since it began in Sta. Ana, Manila over a century ago. He cited the group’s expansion not only in the country but also abroad, growing “both in wealth and prestige.”
“At present, Bro. Eduardo, son of Bro. Eraño and the incumbent Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo, enjoys the support of millions of followers in the country and thousands all over the world as he continues to expand the reach of the Church to over 158 countries and jurisdictions,” he said.
Panelo also praised INC’s socio-civic projects, including medical missions, as well as donation drives during crises. He mentioned INC’s establishment of the New Era University, infrastructure projects in communities as well as resettlement sites and livelihood programs for people in need.