The long road to safety for ex-INC refugee claimants
MANILA, Philippines – For years, homegrown church Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has been steadily amassing followers and building up influence in political circles.
But in 2015, just a year after it celebrated its 100th anniversary, the church found itself facing its worst crisis in recent history.
A feud within the founding family split the church between those who sided with the current executive minister, Eduardo Manalo, and those who call themselves the “defenders” of the faith. The INC leader’s own relatives, brother Angel Manalo and sister Lottie Manalo Hemedez, claimed harassment from top church leaders.
Expelled church ministers surfaced with allegations of kidnappings and corruption within the church. Several of the church’s most vocal critics reported being threatened in a bid to silence them. (READ: Revolt in the Iglesia ni Cristo)