Historic Argentinian Stock Collapse Impacting Churches

BERAZATEQUI, ARGENTINA (August 16, 2019) – Evangelical Covenant Churches in Argentina are bracing for more national economic upheaval while also preparing to continue serving the poor after the country’s main stock market plunged 35 percent over three days this past week. One of the markets fell 48 percent on Monday. It was the second-largest single-day drop of any global stock market since 1950, according to Bloomberg

The peso also lost a quarter of its value this week. That already is having significant consequences for Argentinians.

The Eben Ezer church that meets in Berazategui had been saving for two years to purchase the property where they have been meeting, but the economic disaster has been a huge setback. The church had saved $4,000 of the $5,400 dollars they needed, but hyper inflation and the crash this week now means the property will cost $9,000, said pastors Ivan and Sandra Carrasco.

This evening there is a mixed feeling from one pastor to another,” said Colleen Nanyhchuk, ECC missionary to Argentina on Thursday night. “There are some who are ‘wait and see what happens next week’ and there are others already worried about prices increasing.”

The Carrascos said, “Every Sunday we collect food for families in need. Not only to members of the congregation, but also to neighborhood families who do not attend church. We believe in mutual help and in this way we move forward.”

This latest economic crisis erupted after the president lost a pre-election vote to a challenger by a margin that was larger than expected. The election serves as a sort of marker for what results will be when the eventual election is held in 10 weeks.

There were some signs of recovery on Friday as the market ticked slightly upward, but economists expect a lot of volatility in coming weeks.

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Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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