If you have never heard of the BRICS nations, you are not alone. They have not been well-known as an economic or political block until now. BRICS is an acronym referring to the developing countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and they are coming together to shake the US from having the dominant currency.
Whether Christians know it or not, the continuing use of the US dollar has created problems for many mission organizations – including BTJ. BTJ has had to move away from using the USD as the primary currency for missions support, because of the draconian control mechanisms used. The US government has put heavy restrictions on banking transactions that impact US missionaries abroad and the only way to get around those regulations is to switch currency.
Now the question is, can a new BRICS help make the situation better for missions? Having spent a considerable amount of time in all of those nations, there are several reasons why the answer is a resounding no!
India and China are the worst nations in the world when it comes to working within banking regulations, South Africa’s growing race-quota economy shows little more promise than Zimbabwe’s historical fall out, and any business involving Russia right now will set off alarm bells with the world’s largest economic blocks in Europe. Right now, the US dollar’s dominance is stable only because, as one economist put it, “Europe is a museum, Japan is a nursing home, and China is a jail.”
Due to the growing interference of US banking regulations, the US Dollar is losing its luster. The idea of a BRICS currency is primarily being pushed by nations that want to see China take the lead, and nations that want to see China take the lead (like Iran, Russia, Congo, North Korea, etc) do not have the best interest of the world in mind.
Even though BTJ has moved away from using the US Dollar on the mission field, it still seems to be sticking around for the short term.