By Chito Chavez
Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) said on Tuesday it has set another “Guinness World Record’’ after 18,272 people were baptized during its “Grand Baptism” event last September 7 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The activity coincided with the 10th year of Eduardo V. Manalo as INC executive minister.
More than the attainment of the new world record, however, we are thankful that the INC is continuing to grow and its message of peace and salvation is reaching more new adherents in the Philippines and abroad,” INC General Auditor Glicerio B. Santos Jr. said.
Speaking at the INC Central Headquarters in Quezon City, Santos noted the baptismal ceremony included 94 foreigners, 57 of which were former leaders from other religious denominations.
Guinness adjudicator Joanne Marie Brent, who was present together with two other Guinness observers, officially announced the record after a thorough count and audit of all the attendees.
Among those invited to the event were Manila 6th District Congressman and House of Representatives Minority Leader Bienvenido “Benny” Abante, Jr. a senior pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Ekklesia, and a delegation from the Jesus is Lord Movement, which is headed by pastor and CIBAC partylist Rep. Eddie Villanueva.
“I am proud that there is an indigenous Filipino religious organization that believes in nationalism and patriotism. INC is such an organization that promotes love of country and love for God,” Abante said.
Santos said the INC now has a total of 25 Guinness Records — the largest charity walk done within 24 hours in multiple venues, the largest charity walk in a single venue, the most hunger relief packages distributed in eight hours, the largest mixed-use indoor theater for the 55,000-seats Philippine Arena, the largest gospel choir during a worship service, three Guinness records relating to 2016’s award-winning film “Felix Manalo,” and three Guinness records for the 2016 New Year’s celebration at the Philippine Arena.