"Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity" by Otto F.A. Meinardus states that according to the folk religion of the Copts, females are circumcised. Is this still practiced today; and whether the official Coptic Orthodox Church approves of this? Is it as accepted and expected as male circumcision?
Otto F. A. Meinardus, the author of the book "Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity" presents some interesting details spanning the last 2000 years of Christianity in Egypt. However, on page 98 of this book, in the chapter "The Folk Religion of the Copts", he describes unusual practices that overlap superstition with religion, and intertwine folklore with the Coptic Orthodox Christian faith. The author refers briefly but unclearly to girls' circumcision before the age of twelve, adding that he "heard it said that the sacrament of baptism would actually be annulled by the operation." The Sacrament of Baptism can never be annulled.
Christians are not religiously or spiritually obliged to be circumcised at all. For hygiene and medical purposes, it is recommended that infant males be circumcised within the first two weeks after birth. Females are not in anyway or at any age required medically or religiously to be subjected to this practice. Nevertheless, ignorance is evident in all cultures. There may indeed be very small clusters of the population, perhaps in remote or isolated villages, that do engage in these practices; but certainly not through the teaching or with the approval of the church. A few years ago, some local newspapers cited that some of these practices still exist in many countries; and that Human Rights activists were looking into these assaults.