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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
CANADA: Churches Urged to Take Lead in AIDS Fight: African Organizer Invites Christians to See the Disaster for Themselves
Jane Cardillo
November 30, 2011
Edmonton Journal (11.26.11) - Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As part of a North American tour, activist Nema Aluku will be guest speaker at the "Micah Challenge Embraces AIDS" event Dec. 3 in Edmonton. Aluku, HIV/AIDS response coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), the relief and development arm of the Christian Reformed Church, is calling on Canadian and US congregations to help win the battle against AIDS.

"If you look at the western world, not many congregations have an HIV/AIDS day to talk about HIV and AIDS in their community," said Aluku.

Liz John-West, board chair of Micah Challenge Canada and head of the Edmonton chapter, said the Saturday session is designed to raise awareness of AIDS and "what we as Canadians can do regarding this issue. We want to create another space, another venue, for the Christian sector of our society to know more about AIDS." The event, tied to World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), is "a great way to really encourage churches to embrace AIDS," said Hannah DeJong of the Micah Center, a faith-based social action group affiliated with Micah Challenge at King's University College.

Aluku said CRWRC conducts tours of Africa to show Christians first-hand the impact of AIDS. "We invite people from North America to come and engage with some of these people," she said. "Then you can see for yourself [what the situation is like]." Micah Challenge Embraces AIDS begins at 7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 7215 97th St. Admission is free.