|Photo Source: Inquirer.net|
Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
Posted at 11/02/15 1:06 PM
CALIFORNIA – About a hundred current and former members of Iglesia ni Cristo convened outside the district headquarters in Anaheim, California, to continue demands for a more transparent church.
Dressed in masks, active and expelled members of INC picketed outside the INC Southern California District Office over the weekend.
While the members didn't speak much, their signs said it all.
''All they have to do is just come out and explain, be transparent with what's going on inside the church,'' said expelled member Richard Vasquez.
''All we're looking for is just the truth. We're not here to go against anybody. We're just against the corruption. If there's no corruption just stand up and say there's no corruption and prove it and stand by your word."
For the active INC members, joining such action put them at risk of being expelled from the church. But for the chance to stop any alleged corruption, it's a risk they're willing to take.
"They just want to make a point, when it comes to what we're doing here. So maybe perhaps they're scared or afraid but that is only because that's what the church administration is instilling in their heart -- that they should be afraid or scared. But we're not scared to expose the truth,'' Vasquez said.
Since allegations of church corruption and abductions surfaced earlier this year, some members have expressed their opinions.
Church leaders, however, said these actions are against the teachings of the INC and that the protestors have already been given explanations by the church administration.
''Clearly their intention in holding this demonstration is to cause division in the church, to further their misguided cause. This is to cause doubts among the members of the church. We're not going to stand and do nothing about it,'' INC resident minister Gino Ramilo said.
Leaders said members who are identified during these protest actions would be subject to due process that could eventually lead to expulsion.
''We try to teach them again the doctrines recorded in the bible. But if they make that choice, if they make that decision to continue to do something to disrupt the unity, you're no longer a Christian, you're no longer a follower of Christ,'' said INC minister Julius Malabanan.
This latest action comes after former INC minister Lowell Menorca II filed cases against several INC leaders over his alleged abduction.