Iglesia Ni Cristo has been traditionally active in providing help and support programs for the poor and needy. These programs have been essential in filling the gap for essential foods, shelter, primary age education, hospital financial support, and refugee assistance. Iglesia Ni Cristo has also been a forefront partner in coordinating the distribution of essential goods for disasters as well as the latest pandemic response in terms of personal protective equipment, medicine, and vitamin supplements. When not working on the above, the organization has also been a regular supporter of clothing, food, and blankets for the indigenous communities in Northern Canada as well.
For 2021, Iglesia Ni Cristo, which has an international footprint in the U.S., Canada, and the Philippines, launched a new effort in support of local Filipino communities as well. Under the banner of “Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko,” (My Countrymen, My Brethren) Iglesia Ni Cristo has been central in coordinating the efforts of hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in more than 150 countries and six different continents worldwide. It is an aggregate manifest of help and assistance and evidence that people working in concert towards helping others can do great things working together effectively.
The Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko program has been a personal goal and initiative of Broth Eduardo V. Manalo, the Executive Minister of Iglesia Ni Cristo, and has also been a direction he has been supporting for a handful of years now. Annually, the Iglesia Ni Cristo event has attracted coordination from multiple churches in the Philippines as well as moving into greater and greater sync with similar church organizations internationally as well, totaling 170 different church districts worldwide.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo program itself at the ground and field level has been effective in moving primary “care packages” which provide recipients a sizable food package of canned goods, coffee, and five kilos of rice per bag. The events are also a means to produce immediate food for attendees going to them as well as entertainment, religious messaging and community support. In retrospect, the 2020 event was one of the biggest attended, very likely due to the Mindanao earthquakes and result damage at the end of 2019. Similar work happens with a retitled event in sync with Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko, titled Aid to Humanity, and this work focuses on needs and helps in other continents such as North America, Africa, and the Middle East. Those efforts have reached at least 300,000 persons.
All of the Iglesia Ni Cristo efforts have been consistent with the goal and messaging from Brother Manalo, urging everyone to take on the role of providing hope for others. Whether it be through food, clothing, shelter, or other resources, the effort of Iglesia Ni Cristo has been and continues to be helping those in need because God commands it, not once, not twice, but on an ongoing basis. Given the success of Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko to date, 2021 and the future promise increasing growth for the helping program and increased reach to more people worldwide.