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Intercultural Field Experience And Research Paper

2432 words - 10 pages

Culture defines the social forces within a community involving its conventions for behavior, ranging from food preparation techniques to forms of entertainment that keep the community together such as music, dancing, dating rituals, and so on. One of the many aspects of culture is religion. Religion defines how the community members interpret their role in the universe. Because the teaching of religion is based on the local culture, different religions rise out of different cultures.
The history of religion is probably as old as the world’s history itself. It is an organized system of beliefs and practices revolving around, or leading to, a transcendent spiritual experience. There is no ...view middle of the document...

Holiness is wholeness, which means a person should have a balance between prayer and action.
However, being a Catholic does not mean that I have closed my horizons from learning and experiencing different religion. Last Thursday, March 27, I have witnessed the religion that has the strongest emotion in terms of worshiping, which is the Iglesia ni Cristo, or Church of Christ in English. Before the day that I actually attended their worship, I have researched about it and already knew some information about it. Iglesia ni Cristo is a Christian denomination religion that originated mainly in the Philippines in 1914 under the founder Felix Manalo, who become the first executive minister. The foundation of Iglesia ni Cristo had been very critical to the Roman Catholic Church, because it firmly believes itself to be the only “true” church (Baumann).
Felix Manalo was once a member of the Roman Catholic Church then converted to the Methodist religion, until he felt that he was called by God to establish his own church. The name that he gave to his church was simply Iglesia ni Cristo, but its followers were known as Manalists in the Philippines. Manalo was believed to be the last prophet of God, and proclaimed that all other churches were just apostate. Manalists reject the traditional doctrine of Trinity as potentially polytheistic, “believing instead in a messianic role of Jesus Christ but not that he was God himself” (Baumann).
With the help of my friend who is part of that religion, I was able to visit and experience their worship. I already knew beforehand that attendees should be dressed formally. Males are required to wear polo or suit, while females are required to wear below-the-knee skirt, which I think is very appropriate when going to church. It is also advisable that females wear stockings if they would wear knee-length skirts. They were required to dress up because they are approaching God, and it is just fitting that they offer the best that they have to our God who gives us everything, and I believe that they have a point.
The establishment of their church employs exterior neo-Gothic vertical columns with tall narrow windows between, interlocking trapezoids, and rosette motifs, as well as towers and spires. When we get to the front of the church, my friend explained that there are multiple entrances leading to the main sanctuary of their church. Since it is a tradition that males and females be seated separately, when you are facing the church, the left entrance and pews are for males, while the right entrance and pews are for females.
However, since I was just a guest, before entering fully to the church, I had to sign up for my name and name of the invitee. When I asked what it is for, my friend said that members that brought in guests would be a good reputation to them because they have encouraged them to experience their religion. While I was signing the form, I noticed that my friend flipped a card that was on the board. He...

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