Iglesia ni Cristo -
Iglesia ni Cristo today
THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO (Church of
Christ) is a Christian religion whose primary purpose is to worship
the Almighty God based on His teachings as taught by the Lord Jesus
Christ and as recorded in the Bible.
The Church of Christ is a church for everyone
who will heed the call of God and embrace its faith—regardless of
his or her nationality, cultural background, social standing,
economic status, and educational attainment.
A GLOBAL CHURCH
Thus far, today, the membership of the Iglesia ni Cristo
comprises at least 106 nationalities. It maintains about 5,400 local
congregations grouped into 104 ecclesiastical districts in the
Philippines and in 92 more countries and territories in
the six inhabited continents of the world. Its present Executive
Minister is Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.
A 'RADIANT CHURCH'
In Ephesians 5:27, the Church of Christ is described as a "radiant
church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and
blameless" (New International Version"). Hence, the Iglesia ni
Cristo molds its members toward perfect unity of faith and
practice, that each one will be devoted to a life of holiness and
service founded on true Christian teaching.
A CHURCH THAT SHARES
The Iglesia ni Cristo endeavors to share the gospel of salvation
written in the Bible to as many people as possible, in fulfillment
of Christ's vision as stated in Mark 16:15-16: "... Go into
all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who
believes and is baptized will be saved ..." (New King
The Church continuously
preaches the gospel not only to win over people into the
Lord's flock but also to edify the faith of its members,
"...admonishing and teaching everyone with ail
wisdom ... [to] present everyone perfect in Christ"
(Colossians 1:28, NIV)
NATURE OF THE ORGANIZATION:
The Church of Christ adheres to the unadulterated teachings of God
and of the Lord Jesus Christ written in the Bible. The faithful
firmly believe that this Church is the fulfillment of biblical
prophecies that the Church established by Christ would re-emerge in
these last days for the salvation of humankind.
The Church's major activities include worship service,
missionary works, and edification.
Worship service. This solemn
gathering of the faithful is usually held on Thursdays and Sundays
by every local congregation inside the house of worship. It consists
of hymn singing, prayers, and study of God's words for proper
applications in daily living.
Missionary Works. The
members gladly fulfill their duty to share the faith. They invite
all people to attend Bible study sessions and worship services. The
Church also uses mass media in spreading its message of hope to a
The Pasugo: God's Message, the monthly official
magazine of the Church, carries mainly religious articles and Church
news and features.
DZEM (954 kHz) broadcasts programs that discuss
Bible teachings. These programs are aired by about 60 other radio
stations all over the Philippines and several more in the US and
GEM TV-49, as well as major cable stations in the
Philippines and some channels in the US, telecast the Church's
religious programs featuring biblical teachings.
Edification. For the spiritual
welfare of the members, prayer meetings are held weekly by each
group of neighboring households for further instructions in the
faith and announcements about Church projects and activities.
Pastoral visitations to the brethren are
conducted regularly by the Church officers for prayer and spiritual
Through its Christian family organizations (Buklod,
KADIWA, and Binhi) the Church of Christ undertakes projects to
strengthen the family, to guide the single members in right living
and in proper conduct, and to assist the youth in their studies. The
Buklod (bond) is the organization of married members. The KADIWA
(acronym of a Filipino phrase meaning "Youth with a Noble Intent )
is for the single members 18 years and older, and the Binhi (seed)
is composed of 13 to 17-year old members.
The Iglesia ni Cristo is not a denomination or sect. It is
neither affiliated to any federation of religious bodies nor itself
an assembly of smaller religious organizations. The Iglesia ni
Cristo is Christ's one true Church today.
BIBLE AS BASIS OF FAITH
The Iglesia ni Cristo regards the Holy Scriptures as
the sole basis of its faith and practice. Some of its
fundamental scriptural teachings are as follows:
Absolute oneness of God the Father.
The Church believes in the teaching of Christ and the apostles
that the Father, the Creator, alone is the true God. (John 17:1,
3; I Cor. 8:6)
Jesus Christ the Son of God.
The Iglesia ni Cristo believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of
God. God made Him Lord and Savior. He is the only Mediator of
man to God. Jesus Christ is holy and a very special man but not
God. (Matt. 3:17; Acts 2:36; 5:31; I Tim. 2:5; John 10:36; 8:40;
Acts 2:22, Easy-to-Read Version)
The Church of Christ. The
faithful firmly believe that the Church of Christ is the one
Christ established for the salvation of mankind. It is for the
Church that Christ gave His life and thus, it is this Church
that He will save on Judgment Day. (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28
Lamsa Translation; Eph. 5:23, 25)
Judgment Day. The Church of
Christ believes that God appointed a day when He will judge all
people through Christ. This is the day of the Second Advent of
Christ, which is also the end of the world. (.Acts 17:31; Jude
1:14-15; II Pet. 3:7, 10)
Baptism. The Iglesia m Cristo
observes the biblical way of baptism, which is immersion in
water. Receiving baptism in the Church of Christ is necessary
for one to become a disciple of Christ, to be forgiven of sin,
and to have hope for salvation, (Acts 8:38; John 3:23; Rom.
6:3-5; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16)
resurrection of Christ is the main proof that the dead will
rise. Those in Christ will rise first to be with Him
forever in the Holy City. Those who are not of Christ will rise
a thousand years after the first resurrection to be cast into
the lake of fire. (I Cor. 15:12-13; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev.
The Church of Christ is one in faith and practice. Its unity remains
intact through a centralized form of administration that ensures the
adherence of all members and congregations to the same Bible
teachings and Church rules.
The Iglesia ni Cristo strives to maintain a high moral standard, It
regards the teaching of the Bible as a way of life. It promotes
purity of life among its members by means of instructions,
reminders, and, when necessary, corrective or disciplinary measures.
PEACE AND ORDER
The Church of Christ helps maintain peace and order by teaching its
members to respect and observe rules and regulations governing such.
They are dissuaded from joining unions and organizations that resort
to violence or extra-legal means to advance their causes.
The Church puts a premium on lawfulness and discipline. It complies
with the apostolic teaching to submit to human authority, that is,
the duly constituted government, and abide by its laws (Titus 3:1; I
Pet. 2:13). But over and above any law, its members obey the laws of
God for Christians in our time as written in the Bible.
EQUALITY OF MEMBERS
THE Iglesia ni Cristo promotes Christian brotherly love. All members
are deemed equal in the sight of God (Gal. 3:26, 28). Gender,
racial, social, educational, and economic discriminations are
Marriage in the Church of Christ is regarded as sacred and
inviolable. It is God Himself who instituted marriage and He does
not allow the separation of the husband and the wife whom He joined
together (Matt. 19:4-6). Thus, the Church of Christ does not
subscribe to divorce, annulment, or legal separation as a solution
to marital problems in the same way that it opposes live-in
relationships and same-sex marriage.
STABILITY OF THE
The Church of Christ acknowledges the importance of family as the
basic unit of its organization and of society as a whole. The
stability of every family contributes to the stability of the entire
Church- The home is where religious education begins so Christian
parenting and proper love of children are taught and reinforced at
every opportune time.
CHURCH AND STATE
The Church of Christ upholds the
democratic ideal of separation of Church and State. It
advances through peaceful and legal means the right and freedom of
its members and congregations to conduct worship and other religious
activities as provided for and protected by the fundamental law of
The Iglesia ni Cristo was first preached by brother Felix Y. Manalo
in the Philippine capital city of Manila. Its first local
congregation was established in Punta, Sta. Ana. On July 27,1914,
the Church was registered with the Philippine government.
In 1915, Brother Felix Manalo, as the first
Executive Minister of the Church, started training ministers to
assist him in the propagation of the gospel. By 1918, ministers and
volunteer preachers were being sent to provinces around Manila. In
its tenth year, the first ecclesiastical district was organized in
By 1939, the Church had already expanded to as far
as Ilocos Norte province in Northern Luzon to Cebu province in
the Visayas with the addition of 14 districts. It reached farther
south in Mindanao in 1946 with the establishment of a district
in Cotabato. When Brother Erano G. Manalo
assumed overall administration
as the Executive Minister in April 1963, the Church had established
districts in more than half of all Philippine provinces.
On July 27,1968, the first worship service of the Church outside the
Philippines was held in Ewa Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii. Brother Erano
Manalo officiated at this historic event which marked the
establishment of the Honolulu Congregation, the first overseas
mission of the Church. The following month, he went to California to
establish the San Francisco Congregation and lead its inaugural
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
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 local congregation of Los Angeles is
the second local congregation of the Church of Christ in the
US Mainland. A beautiful new chapel was dedicated to
God on March 2011.
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.
Asia, Australia and Oceania
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. Congregations have since sprung in
Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and many other countries and
territories throughout Pacific.
Source: Light of Salvation Christian Readings