Iglesia: Nothing irregular with grand evangelical mission

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012


THE Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) insisted Monday that there is nothing irregular with the holding of its grand evangelical mission Tuesday amid rumors of it being a show of pro-Chief Justice Renato Corona force.

INC spokesman Bienvenido Santiago said gatherings like the grand evangelical mission to be held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila around 5 p.m. Tuesday has been taking place since the INC’s establishment in 1914.

“The Iglesia Ni Cristo has been holding such gatherings in various places on a regular basis since the time of its first Executive Minister, Brother Felix Y. Manalo, who established the INC’s first congregation in the Philippines in 1914,” he said.

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“This religious activity is one of the means by which the Church propagates the teachings of God in the Bible that members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo believe to be essential for man’s salvation,” he added.

Santiago noted how similar grand evangelical missions have been conducted at the Quezon Memorial Circle in 1995 and at the Amoranto Stadium in 1996.

“In 2009, multi-district grand evangelical missions were held in 14 venues all over the country in celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Church,” he said.

This, he said, is aside from the other “bible expositions” they have conducted in the past “on a smaller scale” that are usually held in the houses of worship.

The INC official also stressed that the Quirino Grandstand is just one of the 19 venues tapped for the event as the grandstand will just be for those members from Metro Manila, as well as the province of Bulacan and the Calabarzon Region.

Aside from the Luneta venue, also identified areas are Isabela Sports Complex, Isabela; Jose V. Yap Sports and Recreational Complex, San Jose, Tarlac; Gloria Town Plaza, Oriental Mindoro; Pili Freedom Sports Complex, Pili, Camarines Sur; La Union National High School Sports Complex, San Fernando City, La Union; Paglaum Sports Complex, Bacolod City; Cebu City Fuente Osmeña; Tacloban City Convention Center; and Pagadian City Gym, Zamboanga del Sur.

Also named as venues are Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro City; Davao Agro-Football Stadium, Davao City; General Santos City Gym; La Paz Plaza, Iloilo; Butuan City Sports Complex; Odiongan Sports Complex, Odiongan, Romblon; Puerto Princesa Coliseum, Palawan; Coron Gym, Palawan; and Sta. Cruz Plaza, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque.

Santiago said they are confident that most, if not all, INC members from its 4,374 local congregations across the archipelago will attend and participate.

The bible exposition Tuesday will be the fourth biggest gathering of the INC and will be held as part of the group’s campaign for the intensive propagation of God’s words, said Santiago.

With thousands expected to troop to Quirino Grandstand, the Manila Police District-Traffic Enforcement Bureau (MPD-TEB) is implementing a traffic rerouting scheme in anticipation of the evangelical gathering.

In its advisory, the traffic bureau said the stretch of Katigbak Drive, South Drive and Independence Road will be closed to vehicular traffic at noon onwards. All motorists are advised to take President Quirino Avenue to Nagtahan or Taft Avenue toward Jones, McArthur and Quezon Bridges as alternate routes.

The TEB also urged motorists to expect heavy traffic on the north and southbound lanes of Bonifacio Drive from 25th Street to Anda Circle as one lane of each road sides will be designated as a parking space for buses.

A lane of both TM Kalaw, east and west bound near the sidewalk from Roxas Boulevard to Ma. Orosa, Roxas Boulevard service road from TM Kalaw to P. Ocampo, and Eastbound of P. Burgos over the sidewalk from Roxas Boulevard to Ma. Orosa will also be used as parking spaces for light vehicles.

Light vehicles can also park their cars at the northbound lane of Bonifacio Drive over the sidewalk from 25th St. to Anda Circle. Bonifacio Drive Service Road will be used as the parking space for motorcyles.

Meanwhile, the traffic bureau also designated several areas where the attendees can park their vehicles.

For the VIPs, they can park their cars at the north wing of the Quirino Grandstand (fronting police community precinct) while those with car pass can leave their vehicles in South Drive from Roxas Boulevard to Independence Road.

Buses carrying the INC members can occupy and park on at least one lane of both south and northbound sides of Roxas Boulevard from P. Burgos to P. Ocampo, as well as the PICC complex and Paco Park.

The MPD-TEB said the southbound portion of Roxas Boulevard fronting the carabao statue as a drop-off point of the participants.

The INC earlier invited Catholics and followers of other religious denominations to attend its rallies to be held simultaneously at the Luneta Park in Manila and 17 other key cities and towns on February 28. (AMN/ECV/Sunnex)

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