A far-right Christian ethno-nationalist group in the Philippines, known for its paramilitary activities and cult-like characteristics.

Tadtad, officially named Sagrado Corazon Señor (SCS), was founded in 1972 in Initao, Misamis Oriental, Philippines, by Sagrado Sade Jr. This organization has been described as a far-right Christian ethno-nationalist group, which also functioned as a paramilitary organization. Its activities and the reverence for its founder have led it to be often characterized as a cult.

The initiation process for joining Tadtad involves a unique and controversial ritual. Applicants must undergo an initiation rite where their inner arm is struck with a sharp sword at least twelve times. The lack of a visible cut signifies the applicant’s eligibility to join, while any cut is seen as evidence of the individual’s dark side, rendering them unfit for membership. This practice highlights the group’s belief in physical invulnerability as a sign of purity and alignment with their ideology.

Sagrado Sade Jr., the founder, is held in high esteem by Tadtad members, who refer to him as Papa Sagrado. The group venerates him in a manner akin to how Roman Catholics venerate saints, stemming from a belief in his inherent holiness observed since his baptism. Sade’s reputation as a faith healer prior to establishing Tadtad contributed significantly to his revered status within the group. Despite their distinct beliefs and practices, many Tadtad members maintain their Roman Catholic faith, attending mainstream churches and observing religious holidays. They conduct additional observances that set them apart, including praying every three hours and congregating in their chapel on Fridays for collective prayer. Acts such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and gambling are considered sinful by the group.

Tadtad members are known for their use of amulets and faith to protect themselves from physical harm, including bullets, which underscores their blend of Christian beliefs with local folklore and ancient rites. This practice has not only attracted followers within the Philippines but has also drawn members from the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU), who joined Tadtad to participate in paramilitary operations against communist rebels.

The group has engaged in armed activities, notably against the New People’s Army (NPA) and Moro rebels during the 1970s. An incident in 2000 involving a splinter group, the Christian God Spirit, led by Alfredo Opciona, resulted in a deadly encounter with Filipino soldiers in Pangantucan, Bukidnon, highlighting the group’s ongoing involvement in violent conflicts.

Tadtad’s belief in invulnerability to bullets was notably challenged during an armed encounter, where the failure of their “magical powers” was attributed to the sinfulness of the members involved, as explained by Alfredo Obsioma, leader of the Catholic God’s Spirit cult, a faction associated with Tadtad. This incident underscores the complex interplay between faith, morality, and the perceived supernatural protection among its members​​​​​​.

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