(Eagle News) – Mexican ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Gerardo Lozano Arredondo, visited Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, at the INC Central Office in Quezon City on Wednesday, April 18.
Ambassador Lozano’s visit comes just a week after the visit of the Ambassador of Brazil to the Philippines, H.E. Rodrigo do Amaral Souza, on April 11, and nine months after the courtesy call of the Ambassador of Panama to the Philippines, H.E. Rolando Guevarra, on July 5 last year.
Arriving at the INC Central Office before 9 a.m., Ambassador Lozano was accompanied by the Mexican Embassy’s Vice Consul, Luis Gerardo Regalado, who is also the Embassy’s Head of Cultural Affairs, and the Ambassador’s son, Gerardo Jr.
“The atmosphere was very friendly,” said INC minister and Protocol Officer, Joel San Pedro. He added that the visits of three ambassadors from Latin America in nine months “reflected the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s rapid expansion in Latin America, at the same time that many congregations in North America are preparing numerous Christian activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Church in the West.”
This July, the INC will be celebrating its 104th anniversary since it was first registered in the Philippines on July 27, 1914, and its 50th year since it established its first overseas congregation in Hawaii on July 27, 1968. Since then, the Church had spread all over the world, and has 6,000 local congregations and missions in 142 countries and territories. It had also actively engaged in socio-civic and outreach projects to help the poor and those in need in calamity-stricken areas across the globe.
During his visit to the INC Central Office, Ambassador Lozano expressed his appreciation for the Church’s various projects to fight poverty, including the various “Aid for Humanity” programs worldwide. San Pedro mentioned that the Ambassador of Mexico was also informed of the INC’s Worldwide Walk to Fight Poverty on May 6, which will be conducted simultaneously in more than 300 sites worldwide, including Latin America.
In fact, the INC conducted a massive “Aid for Humanity” in Tijuana, Mexico in October 2017, which benefited more than 600 residents in the area. Prior to that, Brother Eduardo conducted a pastoral visitation in Mexico City where he officiated a worship service on January 21, 2017. Currently, the INC has seven congregations or group worship services in Mexico.
San Pedro said that the Mexican Ambassador “expressed his admiration for how the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, has shown his care for Filipinos all over the world.” Both Ambassador Lozano and the INC Executive Minster “share a deep interest in the welfare and concerns of migrant workers,” as the Mexican diplomat noted that Brother Eduardo Manalo was named Special Envoy for Overseas Filipino Workers. Ambassador Lozano also recognized that programs that aid the poor, like what the INC is doing, help ease many of society’s problems.
“His Excellency, Ambassador Lozano, expressed his appreciation for the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s struggle against poverty,” San Pedro said.
Since July 2016, nine ambassadors from different countries, including South Africa, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Panama, the United States, and Brazil, have made courtesy calls to the INC Executive Minister, recognizing the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s presence in their countries as well as the contributions of the Church to helping people worldwide.
(Eagle News Service with an INC-PIO report)