Iglesia Ni Cristo assets: Not just a religious empire

By Inday Espina Varona, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jul 25 2015 04:20 PM | Updated as of Aug 25 2016 11:02 AM

The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) is like a boxer who punches with a strength way above his weight class.

In 2010, the INC accounted for 2.45% of the country's population, around 2.5 million of today's 100-million population. Its membership lags way behind the majority Roman Catholic Church (more than 80%) and Islam (nearly 6% ).

The INC gets its power not from sheer numbers but from the legendary unity of its flock. The faithful gather for religious services twice a week and pay regular tithes across 101 Philippine ecclesiastical districts, each with 15 to 70 locales, and 27 more districts across the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

That unity translates to bloc votes every election, sending politicians across party lines trekking to the INC Central Office in Quezon City, which has an estimated current value of P1 billion.

The INC celebrated its centennial last year with a world record for a charity walk, which raised funds for a 1,000-shelter village in Yolanda stricken communities, and the inauguration of the world’s largest dome.

A century of loyalty and tight central management that have begotten political power have also created a mighty economic empire for the INC.

Here are 17 images of the INC's assets through the years:

Mobile users can view the desktop version of the slideshow here.

Iglesia Ni Cristo assets: Not just a religious empire 1

An artist's rendition of the Ciudad de Victoria project located in Bocaue, Bulacan with images of different infrastructures that will rise on the site. Source: Wikimapia

The 140-hectare tourism and enterprise estate sprawls across the towns of Bocaue and Santa Maria in Bulacan, right by the Northern Luzon Expressway. Owned by the INC’s New Era University, under operation of Maligaya Development Corporation, it will feature residential and office complexes, shopping and entertainment districts. The INC intends to make it an education and medical powerhouse within the decade.