A Filipino megachurch has bought over 5,000 hectares of land, a patch the size of a small city, near the agricultural towns of Ladybrand and Petrusburg in the Free State, Netwerk24 reported.
The newly constructed Iglesia ni Cristo church building in Ladybrand, Free State (Iglesia Ni Cristo News and Updates, Youtube)
The land will be used to established “eco-farms” for Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) congregants to earn a living, the church said in a video on Youtube.
The church has hundreds of similar farms across the world, where the church gives congregants food, employment, education, and even homes.
An Iglesia ni Cristo ‘eco-farm’ in the Philippines (Iglesia Ni Cristo News and Updates, Youtube)
According to Netwerk24, Iglesia ni Cristo has been spending millions to build a large church on its 508-hectare property in Ladybrand, surrounded by an electric fence.
Large housing complexes have also been constructed on the church’s extensive property in Petrusburg.
Inside the Iglesia ni Cristo church in Ladybrand, Free State (Iglesia Ni Cristo News and Updates, Youtube)
Founded in Manila in 1914, Iglesia ni Cristo also has properties in nearby neighbouring Thaba Nchu and Ficksburg, as well as Maseru, just across the Lesotho border. It has an estimated 66,206 hectares of eco farms worldwide.
It claims to be the one true church formed to restore the original church of Jesus Christ. It believes all other Christian denominations have water-downed Christ’ teachings.
Congregants who do not live in accordance with the doctrines of the church are reprimanded before being excommunicated.
Violations include being absent from worship services too long without any solid reason, drinking alcohol, or marrying or having a romantic relationship with a non-member.
It is estimated to have over 2.2 million members worldwide.
Feature image: The newly constructed Iglesia ni Cristo church building in Ladybrand, Free State (Iglesia Ni Cristo News and Updates, Youtube)
Article source: www.businessinsider.co.za