AFRICA/EGYPT - The Coptic Church launches an awareness campaign against female genital mutilation

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Orthodox Coptic Church is about to launch an intense awareness campaign among its faithful against the practice of female genital mutilation, which continues to be widespread among Coptic Christians in different areas of Upper Egypt. The urge to launch awareness campaigns among the Coptic communities also regarding the dangers and the serious physical and psychological consequences of this practice – report the media which closely follow the ecclesial events in Egypt more closely - comes directly from Patriarch Tawadros II. The campaign will use a variety of awareness raising tools, including warning signs against infibulation that will be located near the church premises in which baptism is administered. But the Patriarch and the Bishops of Bethlehem are primarily concerned with raising awareness of the practice among the faithful through marriage preparation courses and some awareness raising meetings aimed at couples.
The historical origins of the practice of infibulation are related to widespread practices in ancient Egypt. That is why its Arabic name corresponds to the "pharaonic infibulation" expression (al khitan al fira'uni). Infibulation and female circumcision are not mentioned in the Qur'an, and Islam as such does not require any female genital mutilation. The practice of infibulation, although prohibited by the Coptic Church, still exists in Christian communities in Upper Egypt and in the Horn of Africa, in Eritrea and Ethiopia (but also in Niger) as a legacy of tribal customs prior to the beginning of apostolic preaching. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 26/7/2017)