MANILA, Philippines – The first church of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) was established in Punta, Santa Ana, Manila, on July 27, 1914. Its founder, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, a young man who had been in search of the truth, had drifted from one religious organization to another before he established the Iglesia ni Cristo. Ten years after its founding, the first ecclesiastical districts were established before the first foreign mission was formed in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1968. In 1971, the Iglesia inaugurated its Central Office complex in Quezon City and more than a decade later, in 1984, its largest edifice of worship, the Central Temple, was consecrated.
Many more locales and churches were established around the country and in other parts of the world. The growth of the Iglesia, described as one of the most phenomenal among the world’s churches, has been attributed to the zeal of its founder, Ka Felix Y. Manalo, his son, the late Brother Eraño G. “Ka Erdie” Manalo, and the current Executive Minister of the Iglesia, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.
The growth of the Iglesia has not only led to an improvement of the quality of life of its millions of members. As a social institution, it has proven its commitment to national development, unity, and spiritual growth. The Iglesia ni Cristo has become an integral part of the history and progress of the country.
In recognition of its phenomenal growth and sustained contribution to national development and global understanding, Congress approved – and the measure was signed into law in 2009 – Republic Act 9645, declaring the 27th of July of each year as a special national working holiday commemorating the founding of the Iglesia ni Cristo. The Republic Act cited the Iglesia for its exemplary feat of leading its members towards spiritual enlightenment and good citizenry.
We congratulate the Iglesia ni Cristo led by Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo, its leaders and faithful, on the occasion of their 97th Anniversary today, July 27, 2011. We wish them all the best and success in all their endeavors. Mabuhay!