While others were counting down to end 2015, thousands of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members gathered in the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan to break three Guinness World records.
The organizers of the INC New Year festivities on January 1 claimed around 100,000 in attendance to welcome 2016 to break the former record of Norway for having the largest fireworks display when the clock struck 12. The fireworks display lasted for almost an hour and was composed of about 700,000 pieces.
“Aside from wanting to win new distinctions for our country, we also want to provide an alternative to celebrating the new year other than the usual personal use of firecrackers and the indiscriminate firing of guns, both of which often lead to serious injuries—and in some cases, tragic accidental deaths,” the lawyer said.
Guinness World Records officials confirmed the victory of INC in breaking the three records. "We were able to announce the certificates for the three titles that were attempted tonight by the Iglesia ni Cristo: the longest line of sparklers lit in relay, the most sparklers lit simultaneously, and the largest fireworks display," said Christina Conlon, Guinness World Records official adjudicator.
These Guinness World Records were not the first accomplishments of INC as they have accomplished several records of which many were also done at the Philippine Arena like the historical-biographical film “Felix Manalo” which set two new Guinness World Records titles during its October 2015 debut showing in the Philippines: Largest audience at a film premiere and Largest attendance at a film screening.
The international aid for humanity, or “lingap sa mamamayan,” which the Iglesia ni Cristo’s (INC) held in Manila on July 7, 2012 had broken the Guinness world record for the largest dental health check.
The whole-day medical-dental mission in the capital’s huge informal settlers’ community also broke two other world records —for the biggest number of blood pressure (BP) readings taken in eight hours and for the most numerous blood glucose level (BGL) tests, also conducted in eight hours.
On July 2014, the INC has broken world records for the following: Largest mixed-use indoor theater in the world, the Philippine Arena; and Largest Gospel choir, which sang during the INC's worship service.
There must be other world records INC has broken, and most certainly more to come soon. What is impressive is the strength of their numbers for being a well-bonded community of believers with faith that has been demonstrated as truly astounding.
Photo credit to theiglesianicristo.blogspot.com