The Iglesia Ni Kristo Mourns The Passing Of Executive Minister Eraño Manalo At 84
The Philippines’ biggest indigenous Christian church, the Iglesia in Krista is in mourning over the passing of its executive minister, Eraño Manalo, son of the sect’s founder, Felix Manalo.
Eraño Manalo, who has headed the INC since his father’s death in 1963, succumbed to prostate cancer yesterday afternoon. He was 84.
Minister Manalo’s passing can probably be described as coming at a time of ferment for Filipino Christians with quite several local evangelists no longer simply focus on ministerting to their flock but eyeing more active roles in political governance.
Just yesterday came word that Shaddai ‘servant leader’ Mike Velarde was setting aside his plan to run for President, while Jesus Is Lord leader Eddie Villanueva said several days back that he was “accepting the challenge to run again” after having lost in 2004.
While no Iglesia ni Kristo official has ever been bitten by the political bug, the denomination has long been acknowledge as a bloc-voting organization with politicians at both local, regional, and national levels discreetly but actively paying courtesy calls an writing pledge letters to obtain the tacit endorsement of the INC.
As a Wikipedia entry puts it:
The official doctrines of the church profess that Jesus Christ is the founder of the INC and that Felix Manalo was God’s last messenger, whom he sent to re-establish the Christian Church to its true, pristine form] because the original church was apostatized. They believe that the apostatized church is the Roman Catholic Church, and proclaim that Catholic dogmas, such as the Trinity, are proof of this apostacy.
The organization does not believe in the Trinity, nor that the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit are Biblical.
INC members are noted for their bloc voting in Philippine elections, although INC has the biggest conversion turn-out, between sixty-eight and eighty-four percent of their members voting for candidates endorsed by its leadership, according to comprehensive surveys conducted by ABS-CBN.
This is in part due to their doctrine on unity, which puts the penalty of expulsion on anyone swaying from the doctrine.
Some reports say that the INC can deliver 2 million members of voting age.
These aspects aside, this writer extends its most respectful condolences to the Iglesia Ni Kristo at the passing of its Executive Minister.
Eraño Manalo remains are lying in state at the INK’s Central Sambahan in Quezon City.
There is yet no word about his interment, nor about who will succeed him.