Iglesia ni Cristo to hold huge assemblies
By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:48:00 07/23/2009
Filed Under: Churches (organisations), Religions, Anniversaries
MANILA, Philippines—The Iglesia ni Cristo, which is celebrating its 95th anniversary on Monday, announced Thursday it will hold huge religious assemblies in 14 venues around the country and in five sites in four other countries.
Tens of thousands of delegates are expected to congregate at designated venues in each of the regions in the country to celebrate “Iglesia ni Cristo Day,” read a statement issued by the Iglesia ni Cristo.
In Metro Manila, the gatherings will be held at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, and at the Rizal Memorial Complex in Manila.
The five-hour special gatherings would begin at 4:30 pm.
Malacañang last month announced July 27 of every year as a special day to commemorate the founding of the Iglesia ni Cristo.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo‘s last State of the Nation Address to Congress, which is expected to draw large mass actions, falls on July 27.
The Iglesia ni Cristo said local authorities have issued traffic advisories to avoid congestion on major roads leading to its venues.
In the provinces, delegates will assemble at the following venues: Butuan City Sports Complex in Agusan del Norte; Bicol University Sports Complex and Commencement grounds in Legazpi City, Albay; Cebu Sports Center in Cebu City;
General Santos City Oval Plaza, South Cotabato; Davao Agro-Industrial Institute Football Field in Davao City; Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur; Central Integrated Terminal in Santiago City, Isabela; Ashton Field Subdivision grounds in Calamba City, Laguna;
Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; Villa del Sol Subdivision-Olongapo-Gapan Road in San Fernando City, Pampanga; Narciso Ramos Sports Center in Lingayen, Pangasinan; and Ipil Sports Complex in Zamboanga City, Zamboanga-Sibugay.
Gatherings will also be held at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. and HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, USA; Central Hall Westminster in London, UK; Parco Esposizioni Novegro in Milan, Italy; and Hills Center in Sydney, Australia.
The rest of the local congregations in the Philippines which are too far from the announced venues, as well as congregations in countries outside of the US, UK, Italy and Australia will also hold celebratory gatherings in their respective houses of worship simultaneously with the big assemblies.
The Iglesia ni Cristo is an independent Christian religious organization registered with the Philippine government on July 27, 1914.
It was first preached by the late Brother Felix Y. Manalo, its first executive minister, who hailed from Tipas, Taguig City.
Under the present executive minister, Brother Eraño G. Manalo, who assumed overall leadership of the Church during its 49th year of establishment, the Iglesia ni Cristo became global.
Its first local congregation outside the Philippines was organized in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA on July 27, 1968.
At 95, the Iglesia ni Cristo has over 5,400 local congregations (roughly equivalent to parishes) in 90 countries and territories, with a membership composed of 102 nationalities
This weekend, July 25 and 26, Iglesia ni Cristo thanksgiving worship services would be simultaneously conducted by all local congregations
A TV anniversary special will also be aired on Sunday at 8 p.m. over GEMTV-49 and Net-25.
Last Saturday, July 18, the INC through its “Lingap sa Mamamayan” socio-civic program, conducted a health service mission in the village of Maharlika in Taguig City as part of its anniversary celebration.
Around 20,000 residents benefited from the free medical and dental services, vitamins and medicines, and a package of rice and canned goods.