Established in 1948, the UCCP is an “organic union” of leading Protestant denominations in the country: the Evangelical Church of the Philippines, the Philippine Methodist Church, the Disciples of Christ, the United Evangelical Church and several independent congregations.

During the early years of Martial Law, UCCP, like other member churches of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (including the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and the United Methodist Church) were silent in the hopes that Marcos would address the rampant lawlessness, criminality, violence and poverty throughout the country.

By 1974, however, the UCCP released a statement warning its members and the government about the dangers of abuses under Martial Law. Human rights violations during this period worsened significantly, as many church workers who expressed dissent were jailed, tortured and persecuted. By 1978, UCCP demanded the restoration of civil and political liberties and the immediate dismantling of martial rule. It was thus the first Protestant Church to have issued such a statement, which was strongly founded on the theological view “that human dignity is inherent to every person.”

In 2012, some members of the Cosmopolitan Church disaffiliated themselves from UCCP. Examples of scholarly works by some church members include:

Cirilo A. Rigos, “The Posture of the Church in the Philippines under Martial Law” (1975).
Oscar S. Suarez, “Theology of Struggle: Reflections on Praxis and Location” (1986).
Oscar S. Suarez, “Protestantism and Authoritarian Politics: The Politics of Repression and the Future of Ecumenical Witness in the Philippines” (1999).

Bishop Melzar D. Labuntog
UCCP National Office
877 EDSA, West Triangle
Quezon City 1104
Tel: 632 8 426 1729 | 8 426 3790 | 8 426 9157