Why the BRICS Summit matters

By July 10, 2015
BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa

BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa

Russia (MNN) — Leaders of Brazil, India, China, and South Africa are meeting in Russia this week at the 7th annual BRICS summit.

The Ukraine crisis is at the top of their agenda, and Slavic Gospel Association’s Bret Laird says you might want to pay attention.

“This situation has huge implications for the world,” he observes. “There’s a lot of animosity developing.”

Connecting dots at the BRICS summit

Countries that placed sanctions against Russia (purple) in 2014.

Countries that placed sanctions agains
Russia (purple) in 2014.

Western nations begin putting economic sanctions on Russia early last year, following its annexation of Crimea. More came following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

That pressure led to an economic downfall in late 2014,and caused Russia to lean more heavily on the BRICS alliance.

Leading up to and at the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russian President Putin and fellow BRICS leaders issued calls for unity and co-dependence.

Discussions are underway to improve transactions between Russia and China, Reuters reports. A new international development bank formed in the lead-up to the BRICS summit combines the fiscal power of member nations, giving Russia some financial “room to breathe.”

Despite market turbulence, the BRICS bank holds strong potential financially. The total output of BRICS nations nearly matched the U.S. GDP last year.

“Their collective weight in global GDP continues to rise and therefore also does their importance,” top economist Jim O’Neill told Bloomberg Business.

greece-flag-wallpaperMembership may be tempting for money-challenged Greece, which is fighting to stay afloat.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said joining BRICS shouldn’t be difficult, and Greece could then get financing from the New Development Bank. Yesterday, Greece admitted to gas pipeline deal with Russia.

“The Russian government definitely is trying to look for new partners…and that has an effect on people, in terms of their jobs [and] their daily livelihoods,” says Laird.

“We have concerns for the well-being of the believers in Russia, but right now the major effect is on Ukraine, with the effects of the economy, the effects of the war.”

Meanwhile, in Ukraine…

Hundreds of families are pouring into partner churches every day, looking for answers, SGA reports.

A pastor delivers items provided through SGA's Crisis Evangelism Fund.  (Photo cred: SGA)

A pastor delivers items provided through SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund.
(Photo credit SGA)

“The families that have been displaced: sometimes their needs hit six months to a year after the fighting in their area end[s],” explains Laird.

“There are our brothers and sisters in Christ–church members–who are in urgent need of help and care, of prayer, of financial help to provide daily essentials.”

Through their Crisis Evangelism Fund, SGA is helping churches in Ukraine as they meet the needs of displaced people. At the same time, believers are sharing hope that can only be found through Jesus Christ.

Will you join their efforts?

“We just ask people to continue to pray that God would open hearts,” says Laird. “Our biggest prayer is for revival as a result of this tragedy.”

2 Comments

  • Jean Neumann says:

    Recognize world bank and currency as predicted…praying for God’s will and protection of the Ukraine people, especially the refugees and the Jews there who are trying to return to Israel.

  • steph says:

    Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai….Maranatha! We must work while it’s still day, for night is coming when no man can work. There is an urgency to share Yeshua hamaschiah. Praying for Christians to remain faithful as things get more difficult in this world.

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