Iglesia ni Cristo members told: carry ‘EVM’ tarps; shun media interviews
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – A set of instructions was issued to members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) at the height of the controversies hounding the church that is set to celebrate its 101st anniversary.
An INC member, who requested that the name and location be withheld in fear of expulsion, said local ministers in the provinces issued these “tagubilin” (instructions) during their service worship over the weekend in preparation for Monday’s anniversary to be held at the Philippine Arena and the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan.
“We were told never to talk to the media,” the source said in a phone interview Sunday. “Should, for instance, we are cornered (by reporters), we are just to say that we’re there for the worship.”
Unlike last year’s 100th anniversary when members were provided with service vehicles, local ministers encouraged members this year to bring private cars to Bulacan, “perhaps to show force in number.”
“They also gave away these tarpaulins that say ‘One with EVM'” for us to put on our cars,” the source said.
EVM stands for Eduardo V. Manalo, INC’s executive minister.
In Los Baños, the Inquirer also observed an unusal number of churchgoers and vehicles to INC’s worhsip and several “one with EVM” tarpaulins that hung around the church.
The issue involving the religious group began with the claims of Manalo’s brother Angel and mother, Cristina, that their lives were in danger, and which led to their eventual expulsion from the church.
The source said the Manalos’ expulsion was read during several worships since Thursday.
“But the ministers told us that whatever is happening there (in Manila) should not affect us and that we should not meddle in the issues,” the source said.
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