Ex-INC members hold protest outside California chapels

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Upon leaving service Sunday morning Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) brethern encountered current and expelled members of the church holding signs that demanded answers from the church’s leadership over the so-called corruption scandal.

The protesters’ goal was to hold a silent demonstration to encourage members to not blindly follow orders and ask for answers.

The demonstration was a peaceful one; however, there was a moment of frustration from an elder INC member condemning the protesters from inside the church gates.

“We’re here as defenders because we want the brethren to know that the church is in danger and they should be aware of it,” said Lilly Ann Castellano, an expelled member of the church and participant of the group INC Defenders.

A similar protest was also organized at the same time at an INC chapel in Los Angeles.

The church leadership called it an act to intimidate and distract members.

“The problem is what they did really brought fear to some children because those who attended service are not just adult members,” said Arturo Bairam, the INC District Minister for Northern California. “There are children aged four to eleven seeing those who are using masks [when] going outside the house of prayer and that is not really good.”

The protesters also disagree with the Philippine Department of Justice after dismissing criminal complaints against the church despite top INC officials being absent from the hearing.

“My plea to the council is to face the allegations in court,” said Castellano. “Isn’t that the proper way, proper forum that you wanted? Show up and stop ducking. Stop hiding. Just come out and let’s resolve this.”

“That is not our part,” said Bairam. “We cannot answer for the DOJ. We are here in San Jose, Calif. and the DOJ they are complaining about is in the Philippines. The best thing to do is to just go there.”

The INC protesters say they continue to grow in number as more brethern are motivated to find answers they say they’re not getting.

“We’re not trying to force anybody to go on our side,” said Castellano. “We want them to know and believe it on their own and to just show interest that they want to know the truth.”

However INC officials say they welcome the protesters to take their grievances through the proper channels within the church administration.

“If you want the truth, we can give you time,” said Bairam. “As long as you want to accept that what you did was wrong. Accusations that you are telling us or are throwing at the church administration and to the church are all unfounded.”

While people on each side of this issue say they won’t relent both camps believe that God will prevail and will let the truth be known.

5 Comments on this post.

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  • Kenikeni
    24 November 2015 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Mga kulto na uto-uto kay Manalo!

  • kuya
    24 November 2015 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Good to see that more and more INC members now knows the truth… I hope more will come out and join their kapatid in asking for corruption to stop…

    • Kenikeni
      25 November 2015 at 11:28 am - Reply

      Get out of this cult!

  • Max
    25 November 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Election is coming, DOJ and Pnoy candidate(Mar Roxas) need the INC votes,no chance for the protestor to win on their corruption charges. Is it true that 10% of your salary is a force donation to INC, if you don’t contribute you will not reach heaven. what a religion..For the INC protestors start your own religion, ask only 5% donation, some INC members will join you, plus free cell phone to heaven as incentives…

  • kuya
    28 November 2015 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Mr Brairam. To expell members is not the answer to their questions. Why not sit down with the protester outside the church and talk? Why you need to get permission from INC Manila main before answering protesters questions? Are you afraid because you dont have the right answer to the protesters questions?