a religious reform movement in the Philippines. Its founder, G. Aglipay (1860–1940), was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church for his part in the rebellion against the Spanish colonial yoke. During the war against the American aggressors from 1899 to 1901, Aglipay became vicar-general of the army of the Philippine republic. In 1902 he founded the Philippine Independent (or National) Church, a Protestant denomination, becoming its bishop and leader. It is better known as the Aglipayan Church.
It gained many adherents by exposing the venality of the Catholic clergy and by canonizing heroes of the struggle for national liberation. By 1939 the Aglipayan Church had over 1.5 million members, most of whom were peasants or members of the urban petite bourgeoisie. In the 1930’s the church and the Republican Party it created took part in a movement for a unified anti-imperialist front. After World War II the Aglipayan Church began to lose its democratic, patriotic character and grew closer to the Episcopal Church of the USA. Its influence on the working class has diminished greatly.
G. I. LEVINSON