Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. Matt 5:8.
Female circumcision, a.k.a. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or “The Cut” is a
crude medical procedure forced on young girls, without the aid of anesthetics or clean
instruments. This traditional coming of age ceremony is based in the cultures of
tribalism and witchcraft.
“The Cut” is physically, emotionally, and spiritually damaging to the young girls. Some of the girls mutilated in this manner will die and all of them will suffer the effects of this experience for the rest of their life. One of the reasons this procedure is done is so that the girls will not enjoy sexual intercourse and therefore not run away from their husband. They will certainly experience pain in sexual relations and childbirth. For many of these women the damage to the reproductive system from “The Cut” along with the additional difficulties of childbirth will literally make their lives a living hell.
Bridges International Development has developed a Christian alternative to this
procedure and it is called “The Rite of Purity Passage.” The two-day Rite of Purity Passage
program is an affirmation of remaining pure for marriage. The training program contains
information about the female body and its functions, some of the problems caused by “The Cut”, and scriptural principles of Christian purity. This information is taught to the girls, their mothers, and to their grandmothers. This program is usually presented in the month of August and December as this is the time school is out and is when “The Cut” is often performed.
A celebration ceremony to represent the coming of age of the girls follows the
day and a half of training. The girls are each prayed over, blessed, and given some gifts
to mark the occasion. Since its inception the Rite of Purity Passage training has been
presented to over 400 girls and more than 600 mothers and grandmothers in Kenya. The program has also been used in the Congo but the records from there are not available. Sexual relations, the attitude toward women, and the treatment of females are major problems in Africa.