The Church of Christ rapid global expansion from the Far West to northern Europe, southern Europe, towards the Mediterranean, and the middle East and to Africa. And also to Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands.  

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The Church of Christ rapid global expansion

In the early 70s, the overseas mission of the Iglesia ni Cnsto crossed  the Atlantic.  The first local congregation in Europe was established in London, England in 1972. Across the English Channel in major cities of Europe began gathering themselves into prayer groups, which eventually became full-fledged local congregations the following decade.

In Germany, the Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Bonn Congregations were organized in 1983, 1984, and 1986, respectively. In Switzerland, the Geneva Congregation was founded in 1984. By the end of the 80s local congregations and group worship services could be found in other northern European countries such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark.. France, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. The prayer groups in Spain and Portugal became full-fledged congregations in the 90s.

The Church's successful march into southern Europe was capped by the establishment of the Rome Congregation on July 27,1994, bringing back the true Church of Christ to where the apostasy began, and of the Athens Congregation in Greece on May 10, 1997, re-launching the Gentile mission that the Apostle Paul undertook in the first century. The Executive Minister himself was in those cities to officiate at the inaugural worship services.

The Church has expanded rapidly everywhere in the Western Hemisphere, circling the globe toward the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, and thus, turning toward the Middle East particularly Israel, the cradle of the Christian faith. In the 70s and 80s; prayer groups and congregations emerged in Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

On March 31, 1996, the Executive Minister, together with 12 ministers, flew to Israel and officiated at the special worship service held at the La Romme Jerusalem Hotel. During that momentous event, he declared that, with the founding of the Jerusalem Congregation, the true Church of Christ had been restored to its original home.

The evangelical mission of the Church set foot on the southern shore of the Mediterranean at the close of the 70's.  In October 1978, the first group worship service in northern Africa was opened in Lagos, the capital city of Nigeria. The following month, the Church reached the continent's lower tip with the establishment of the King William's Town Congregation, in South Africa. The Church Administration has also  established congregations in other countries such as Libya, Chad, Egypt, Kingdom of Lesotho, and Uganda.

In Australia, local congregations have appeared since the mid-70s, namely, the Melbourne, Sydney, and Western Sydney Congregations.  Within three decades the number increased to 24 full-fledged focal congregations and group worship services.

In Asia and the Pacific Islands the same picture of continuous growth was palpable. In China, there are four local congregations, Hong Kong and one each in Macau and Shanghai.  The Church has 32 congregations and prayer groups in Japan's main island of Honshu, (Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and Iwakuni) and in Okinawa and other major islands and cities.

It also has conducted missions in Brunei since January 1979 and a congregation has been thriving in Bangkok, Thailand, since May 1976. Congregations were also established in the islands of the Pacific namely, Harmon, in Guam (1959); Saipan (1972) and Ebeye Kwajaiein (1985), in the Mariana Islands; Korot, ^p972) and Ebeye Kvwjalein Islands (1983); and, Yap State, in the Federated States of Micronesia   ^ (1975).

Back to the Western Hemisphere, the Church established to first local congregation in Latin America, the Guantanamo Congregation, in the Caribbean island of Cuba, on August 18,1990. This was followed by the establishment of the first congregation in Mexico, the Tijuana Congregation, a year latter.

Aruba became  the second Caribbean island where the Church formed a congregation, in Oranjestad in July 1991 .The Church of Christ then reached St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles in 1993, Grand Cayman Islands in 1996, Honduras in 1996, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1997. From 2000 and beyond, congregations rose in Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Bahamas, and other countries of Central and South America.



Source: Excerpt from a special report - 27 July 2008
               Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo)
               94 years in the Philippines; 40 years of Overseas Mission

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