Iglesia ni Cristo expels Manalo siblings, mother

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Angel and Cristina "Tenny" Manalo

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) expelled Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo's brothers, sister, and mother on Thursday (July 23) for allegedly causing division in the church and moving to take over leadership of the organization.

During the day's 6 p.m. service, Executive Minister Manalo himself announced the excommunication of Cristina Villanueva Manalo, Felix Nathaniel Villanueva Manalo, Marco Eraño Villanueva Manalo, and Lolita Manalo Hernandez.

Manalo said the dispute among them was doctrinal and had nothing to do with issues of corruption.

He explained that his family members violated important doctrines regarding the validity of existence of INC until the "apocalypse."

Manalo then called on all members of INC not to communicate with his mother and siblings. They were also barred from participating in the church's services.

Members were in tears as Manalo made the announcement and mentioned that there was a "crisis" in their ranks.

This developed after a video entitled, "Bro EGM's family - Call for help" came out on YouTube a day before (July 22).

In the footage, posted by a certain David Romero, Angel and Tenny, appealed for help and cited a threat to their lives.

"Tulungan ninyo kami dahil may panganib sa aming buhay. Saklolohan niyo ang aking mga anak, si Angel at Lottie at ang kanilang mga kasama," Tenny said, with her voice shaking with apparent fear.

[Please help us because our lives are in danger. Save my children, Angel and Lottie, and those with them.]

 

INC is one of the most powerful and influential groups in the country, claiming membership of over 1.3 million.

INC's 101st founding anniversary is on Monday (July 27).

CNN Philippines' Rex Remitio contributed to this report.