Iglesia ni Cristo’s show of force ends up a dud as rally fails to hit 50K-crowd target
The highly-regarded power and influence that the Iglesia ni Cristo is known for appears to be a thing of the past now, with even its very own members refusing to heed the leadership’s call to gather at EDSA to protest the government alleged interference in the church’s own affairs.
A source told Politiko that Iglesia ni Cristo leaders had aimed to mobilize at least 50,000 members from Quezon City for its rally along EDSA-Shaw Boulevard, but only 18,000 from various chapters all over Metro Manila and Luzon came at its peak Sunday night (Aug. 30).
The lackluster attendance disappointed and rattled church officials, who had hoped that members from Quezon City would readily respond to the call for warm bodies to gather at EDSA considering that the Iglesia ni Cristo’s headquarters is located in the locality.
The protest along EDSA lasted for four days before the church leadership announced its end Monday morning (Aug. 31) after a dialogue with the government.
While furor about the Iglesia ni Cristo’s protest appears to have subsided by now, source said the relatively small attendance at the mass action was indicative that not only are its members split on following church doctrine, but the church is in such a terrible financial state that it no longer has money to mobilize thousands of warm bodies on the streets.
Some disgruntled church members had alleged that the Iglesia ni Cristo has gone bankrupt from the construction of the 50,000-seater Philippine Arena so its leaders have decided to sell off some prime properties, which were originally intended for building housing projects for ministers, or for new churches.