The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ) set a world record with its baptism of 18,272 people in Bocaue, Bulacan on September 7.
The “Grand Baptism” event held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue coincided with Eduardo Manalo’s 10th year as INC executive minister.
“We bore witness to a solemn and historic gathering. 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 Santos Jr. said.
“The Grand Baptism was a massive logistical undertaking, but it was all worth it. Our main objective is to continue the programs and initiatives of our Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. He has set the direction for us to be more active in engaging and helping people and showing them that the INC could be a positive influence in their lives,” Santos said in a statement.
Guinness adjudicator Joanne Marie Brent officially announced the record after a thorough count and audit of attendees.
Manila Sixth District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. and a delegation from the Jesus is Lord Movement, headed by pastor and incumbent Cibac party-list Rep. Eddie Villanueva, witnessed the event.
“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 and it is an honor to be a part of this momentous occasion,” Abante said.
To achieve the record-breaking mass baptism, 36 makeshift pools were set to accommodate the participants.
With the new world record, the INC now has a total of 25 feats listed in the Guinness tallies.
The INC “also holds the world records for the largest charity walk done within 24 hours in multiple venues, the largest charity walk in a single venue, the most number of hunger relief packages distributed in eight hours in a single venue, the largest mixed-use indoor theater for the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena, the largest gospel choir during a worship service and three Guinness records relating to 2016’s award-winning biopic ‘Felix Manalo,’ as well as three Guinness records for the 2016 New Year’s celebration also held at the Philippine Arena.”