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For the first time, Argentina funds social work of evangelical churches

Pastor Hugo Márquez settles what he describes as fake media controversy over aid to evangelical soup kitchens.

FUENTES Evangélico Digital AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus BUENOS AIRES 13 DE FEBRERO DE 2024 16:00 h
Minister Pettovello and representatives of ACIERA during the meeting. / Photo via Evangélico Digital.

The Argentinian ministry of human capital has included in its national and international food support programs the work of almost 1,000 soup kitchens of evangelical churches throughout the country.

The agreement was made official at the beginning of February, with the signing of an accord between minister Sandra Pettovello and the evangelical leaders of the Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches of Argentina (ACIERA).

Under the agreement, the government will make a first instalment of 177 million pesos for the purchase of food for 723 soup kitchens throughout the country, which is estimated to cover a demand of over 36,000 vulnerable people.

The support provided by the government is not only for soup kitchens run by evangelical churches; it also extends to over 7,000 soup kitchens of other charitable institutions.

For ACIERA, this is “a significant step forward to make visible and acknowledge the constant work of those institutions for the benefit of the community. Many times, the selfless efforts of the churches have been forgotten, and this represents a positive and necessary change”.


Hugo Márquez settles agreement controversy

Following the signing of the agreement, some media accused the president of the Evangelical Baptist Confederation of Argentina (CEBA), Hugo Márquez, of personally benefiting from the agreement, because he is also the pro-secretary of ACIERA.

In an interview with Ciudad TV (City TV), Márquez made it clear that the grant will not go in any way to his church in the city of Neuquén, as “we don't have soup kitchens: we are not part of that programme, we are not going to receive even a cent”.

The pastor stated that the intention to tie him to the agreement is “purely political” because he has “a daughter who is a Member of Parliament (for the La Libertad Avanza / Freedom Advances party). This isan attack on her, trying to discredit her name, her last name, and the church she belongs to”.

[photo_footer]Hugo Márquez, pro-secretary of ACIERA. [/photo_footer] 


Institutional recognition

Márquez explained that for the last two or three years ACIERA has been asking denominations and churches to report on how many soup kitchens they have. They have counted 750.

With those data, ACIERA has the responsibility to report what was bought, how much was bought, to whom it was distributed. “What we do is to ensure that it is done properly”, he pointed out.

“For the first time ever, the work of the evangelical church is recognised, but that work has always been done. This is not an agreement with the evangelical church, it is not a political agreement with Milei, all that is part of the malicious, lying fantasy of the progressive groups and press that is attacking the government and wants to contaminate the evangelical church”, concluded Márquez.


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