UNKNOWN to the Filipino people, the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has displayed its soft heart to the victims of earthquakes in Japan by distributing thousands of boxes of relief goods through its International Aid for Humanity or Lingap program.
This was revealed on Sunday by INC official Glicerio B. Santos Jr., who said INC has transported and distributed its relief packets to affected residents in Japan’s Kyushu region.
“We are doing everything we can to ease the lives of the quake victims in Japan. The assistance is of course intended for everyone who is affected by the tragedy, INC member or not, Japanese citizen or otherwise. The need to help transcends religious beliefs and nationality,” Santos emphasized.
Twin earthquakes of at least 6.2 magnitude struck the Japanese cities of Kumamoto and Ueki this mid-April. Around 50 people were reportedly killed, while close to a thousand people were injured.
The temblors toppled buildings and bridges in the area.
“The Japanese government was very effective in mobilizing its manpower support services, so the INC decided that relief goods of food, water and basic hygiene necessities are the best way we can help, as well as cash donations to the affected areas,” Santos said.
The relief packets contained bottled water, canned goods, cup noodles, cookies, coffee, tea, toiletries and adult and baby diapers.
INC’s relief efforts were coordinated under the auspices of the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, with Santos supervising the church’s efforts.
Santos said INC Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo was the one who initiated the relief efforts.
Helping the victims of natural calamities is not new to the INC through its Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, since it has also spearheaded the INC’s previous local and international relief efforts and provided assistance to those affected by Typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake both in 2013, as well as Typhoon Katrina which hit Louisiana in the United States in 2005, Hurricane Sandy in New York, tornadoes that struck Oklahoma, and twice in South Africa and in Australia.
According to Santos, “The Japan earthquake relief is part of INC’s humble and emerging efforts at responsible global citizenship. Our efforts are puny compared to those of the Red Cross or the Red Crescent, but the church’s small steps hopefully could still make a difference to those in need.”