Monday, February 08, 2010

5 Influential Religious Organizations this Election

Our country is a religious country. We are a religious people. It doesn't matter how much we clamor regarding the separation of church and state, we always end up working with the church. You may not have visited a church for the past few years but I'm sure you know someone who has been to a church yesterday (especially if you read this on Monday).

The church can influence people in more ways than simply choosing the candidate. In other countries, mass suicide or ritual execution can happen because of religious convictions. Those are pretty serious compared to the simple act of writing a person's name or shading a person's name in the official ballot.

But I don't think that religion itself is the driving force in our country's election. It's the people behind it. For that reason, I present to you the top 5 religious groups that would have some impact in the coming elections.

Please don't hesitate to add in the comments.

Apollo Quiboloy's The Kingdom of Jesus Christ - head of Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Pastor Quiboloy's congregation is stationed in Davao. He can be a strong ally and a dangerous enemy because of the influence he commands to his followers. Although his followers cannot put a big dent on the election results, he has another tool that the candidates will most likely look out: media. He has a TV station, Radio stations and a great website. He's also a great speaker and usually very passionate on what he says.

Iglesia ni Kristo - the leaders of this religious organization is constantly hounded by candidates for endorsement. Their numbers are in millions and can easily influence the national elections. Add to this factor a TV station and radio programs, you have one powerful medium.

Bro. Mike Velarde's El Shaddai - this Catholic religious organization is not a push over because of its charismatic and awesomely dressed leader Bro. Mike Velarde. It was even rumored that he'll be running for top political position. Like most of the leaders in the religious groups, Bro. Mike is constantly followed by political candidates for support.

Bro. Eddie Villanueva's Jesus is Lord (JIL) - the single most influential person coming from the religious organization…if he wins. Why? Because he's gunning for the highest position of the land. But this doesn't mean his current influence is not at par compared to previously mentioned religious leaders. He has the support of millions of JIL members and even people not part of the group.

Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) - the group of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines can't be easily reckoned with. Although they are not hounded by candidates for endorsements, they command great deal of influence for their faithful. As the direct head of PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting), they are a watchdog for the upcoming elections.

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