On July 27, 1914, Ka (Brother) Felix Manalo founded Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), largest homegrown Christian Church in the Philippines, in Punta Sta. Ana, Manila.
Brother Manalo, whom followers and members recognized as God’s messenger, professed to the reestablishment of the original church founded by Jesus and claimed that the original church was apostatized.
The INC began with a handful of followers with Manalo as its head minister propagated his message within his local area, subsequently growing its INC members and converting members of other religions.
As membership increased, he delegated others to spread the teachings of the INC and it eventually spread throughout the Philippines and to other countries.
After Felix Manalo's death in 1963, his son Erano took over duties as executive minister and Eduardo V. Manalo was the deputy executive minister.
By 1988, INC has grown to about 2,635 congregations called locales, in which 220 of them cover 67 countries outside the Philippines.
According to various sources, including the 1997 Britannica Book of the Year, INC had a worldwide population of over one million members by the early 1980s.
2000 census of the Philippine National Statistics Office indicated that 2.3 percent of the population in the Philippines was affiliated with the Iglesia ni Cristo.
Membership in the INC is conferred through baptism. People who wish to be baptized in the INC must first submit to a formal process taking at least six months.
Once someone officially registers with their locale, the person is given the status of Bible Student as they are called within the Iglesia ni Cristo and taught the 25 lessons concerning fundamental beliefs of the INC.
Thursday and Sunday are its days of worship.
On July 27, 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared this day of every year as the “Iglesia ni Cristo Day.”
The declaration was in keeping with Republic Act 9645, signed into law by the President on June 12, 2009, which designated the said day as a special working holiday in recognition of the founding anniversary of the INC in the Philippines.
Philippine News Agency