Minister ‘can’t take’ Iglesia ni Cristo infighting, steps down
Unable to bear the distress of the spate of expulsions in their century-old church, a minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) resigned his post than “betray (his) heart.”
A video uploaded on YouTube Sunday morning showed INC minister Louie Cayabyab of Fremont, California, speaking before his congregation and saying that he could not force himself to read circulars expelling members of the church.
“The first circular is about the expulsion, from the Church, of the wife and children of Bro. Eraño G. Manalo. And another circular is the expulsion, from the Church of Bro. Isaias T. Samson Jr., the editor-in-chief — former editor-in-chief of The Pasugo. I decided, brethren, that I won’t read those circulars. You might be asking, “why?” Because in my heart, in my heart of hearts, I can’t take it. It is, it is just so difficult to betray one’s heart,” Cayabyab said.
The INC expelled Cristina “Tenny” Villanueva Manalo and Felix Nathaniel “Angel” Villanueva, the mother and brother of current executive minister Eduardo V. Manalo, for allegedly sowing division in the fourth largest religious group in the country.
According to data from the National Statistics Office for 2014, the biggest religious groups in the Philippines are the Roman Catholic Church, followed by Islam, then by evangelical groups, the INC, then by Protestants.
Tenny and Angel appeared in a YouTube video Wednesday night and said that their lives were in danger. Also expelled were Angel’s siblings Marco Eraño and Lolita “Lottie” Manalo Hemedez.
Cayabyab said he knew the consequences of relinquishing his post and refusing the circulars about the expulsion of the church members.
“I know the repercussion of this and I know what will be the consequence. I know that I will be stripped out of my duty. From now on, I will no longer be a minister, probably I will be expelled from the Church, but I will take it brothers and sisters,” he added.
Some members could be heard openly weeping after hearing Cayabyab’s announcement.
Cayabyab was previously assigned to the locales of Washington D.C., Temple Hills, Maryland Northern Virginia, Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland, Elizabeth, New Jersey, Central New Jersey, Staten Island, New York, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Livermore, Northern California.
INQUIRER.net reached out to INC spokesperson Edwil Zabala who has not responded as of posting time.
The Iglesia ni Cristo will celebrate its 101st anniversary on July 27, 2015. AJH
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