BURLINGAME, Calif. – Expelled and current members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) gathered in front of the church’s U.S. Main Office to protest what they call “continued corruption” by the church leadership.
Over 50 people who protested at the San Francisco Bay Area headquarters on Sunday morning came as far from southern California to add their voices to the growing choir of dissent.
“What we are seeking for is reformation,” said Arvin Cayabyab. “What we want is for the church to be cleansed. Those who are doing evil, those who are corrupt, we want them to be removed from the church. What we really want is that they stop persecuting the family of Ka Erdy and they stop persecuting the members who have shown light to other members by speaking of the truth, speaking of the corruption.”
“It’s really an unethical way to respond to brethren who love the church, have legit concerns about what’s going on in the church and the answers that they get is just expulsions and have no answers at all,” said Jonas Hernando. “No counseling. No religious counseling. It’s really hypocritical in a sense.”
Rommel V. San Pedro, who is an INC minister and the church’s U.S. attorney, says that while the church respects the freedom of speech from the protesters, he insists their views are wrong.
“What they’re doing there is libeling the Church of Christ and making defamatory statements that have no basis and fact. That’s why the proper form is the court and that is the reason why we already launched a series of lawsuits because, in the Philippines and in the United States, we want the truth to come out,” said Atty. San Pedro.
He also says the church has been open to dialogue with anyone and will continue to be open to it.
“Their activities have been patterned and timed to conflict with our own activities,” adds San Pedro. “We have reason to believe certain groups are working with others to try and interfere with our right to worship in peace. That’s all we want in the Church of Christ — to worship our God Almighty in peace.”
San Pedro declined to give a response when asked about the claims of human rights violations against Angel and Tenny Manalo in the Philippines.
“We have no comment regarding that at this moment because this is the U.S. branch of the Church of Christ and I have no information regarding that at all,” said San Pedro.
Those at the protest said that while this was a coordinated effort in California, they hope word of the leadership’s alleged corruption will spread throughout the world.
You can contact Rommel Conclara at email@example.com for more information.
If followers are being threatened, forced and harassed or oppressed.. That is not a religious group.