INC members mass up along EDSA

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Members of Iglesia Ni Cristo gathered at EDSA-Shaw and EDSA-Ortigas on Friday evening (August 29).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Over 1,000 members of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) gathered at the corner of EDSA and Shaw Boulevard Friday evening (August 28).

INC members have been picketing in front of the Department of Justice (DOJ) building along Padre Faura in Manila since Thursday afternoon (August 27), but flocked to EDSA-Shaw Blvd. and EDSA-Ortigas Ave. at around 8 p.m. Friday.

As reported earlier, INC members are protesting because they want authorities to observe the separation of church and state as mandated by the Constitution, and for the DOJ not to meddle over the internal affairs of their church.

The DOJ is set to conduct a preliminary investigation on the illegal detention case filed by former INC minister Isaias Samson Jr. against the leaders of the religious group.

Related: De Lima skips work at DOJ due to INC protest

In a report by CNN Philippines’ Gerg Cahiles, INC members said they will not leave until they are told to leave.

A stage was being set up, but as of this posting there are no details yet on what the program will be and who will speak. There is also no information on how long the rallyists will stay along EDSA and what their next plans will be.


Protest snarls traffic

Both southbound and northbound lanes of EDSA-Shaw are closed due to the rally, according to Vanessa Hernandez of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Metrobase.

Hernandez added that MMDA officers are present at Shaw and Ortigas and will be present as long as the rallyists are there.

Related: DOJ not violating INC’s religious freedom, says sociologist

INC has more than two million members and is the third largest religious denomination in the country after Roman Catholicism and Islam.

CNN Philippines’ Gerg Cahiles and Yumi Lugod contributed to this report.