Viimeisillään raskaana oleva Bezunesh sekä miehensä Tesfaye lähettivät meille jälleen upean raportin työstään Sidamassa. Olen hieman tiivistänyt sekä boldannut projektin kannalta oleellisimmat kohdat. Koska Etiopiassa perustellaan silpomista kristinuskolla ja raamatulla, on Bezuneshin ja Tesfayen opetuksetkin hyvin raamattukeskeisiä.
Dear Henrica and our partners, brothers and sisters who live in Finland, you have reached Ethiopian people to save them from the harmful traditional practice!Work Report to our partners in FinlandTopic- The significance of circumcision in Judaism and what the Bible says about female genital mutilation (FGM)?Texts: - Gen 17:10-17, Ex 13:17, 34:23, Lev 26:41-Ritual Significance-Metaphorical Significance-Ethical SignificanceAs we informed to you last time, this time we have been working in area of Sidama with an ethnic group in Yirgalem Kale Hiywot Church for three days. Our teaching was about the significance of circumcision in Judaism and what the Bible says about FGM. We also looked at the ritual, metaphorical and ethical significance of circumcision. The amount of the listeners was women 40 and men more than 30 both in married and unmarried groups. From our teaching we will show some parts as the following…
- Ritual significance -Circumcision was the sign for a particular covenant between God and the family (Gen17:11) and it served as an instrument through which the covenant maintained from generation to generation (vv.10-12). It also was the means for assimilating to the covenant for those who were not related to Abraham biologically (vv12-13).Though female circumcision is practiced among some people, the Old Testament (OT) emphasize the necessity for male only (Exodus 23: 17, 34:23, Duet 16:16). To take part in this covenant, circumcision is not needed for females. Additionally, God did not say that the covenant will continue only with the circumcised generation. Also females are not included in the legal code of circumcision (Lev 12:3).
- Metaphorical Significance -In the five books of Moses and beyond, circumcision takes metaphorical connotations. The term is applied to other parts of the human anatomy in a symbolical way, such as heart (Lev 26:41) and lips (Ex 6:12). Uncircumcised heart is one that is incapable of understanding and fulfilling God’s requirements. Likewise, uncircumcised lips are unsuitable channels for divine communication. The metaphorical significance doesn’t mean FGM.
- Ethical Significance- The ethical use of circumcision was in some way an extension of the metaphorical usage. But FGM is not God’s commandment like circumcision of man was God’s commandment in OT.What the Bible says about it: - The Bible is silent about FGM. In OT we have brief explanation about male circumcision. The New Testament (NT) shows that we are free from the bondages of the law of circumcision. Circumcision is unnecessary even for male for his salvation and signification. We can’t afford spiritual quality by being circumcised. FGM is something which has developed in human history but not from the Biblical point of view. All the reasons that are given for the continuation of FGM have no biblical and theological basis.The Response of LearnersAfter our teaching people said that this kind of teaching is very important to increase awareness about the harmful traditional practice of FGM. People again said that they want to have this kind of training continuously. They said: "It is very important to save the life of women from accidental death that might happen when they give birth with a circumcised body." As we understood from their response the people of Sidama are very interested to learn from the initial point, they want to understand why, where and when this practice really started in Ethiopia? So we are going to givethem another appointment and start with the background of FGM.The following picture shows our learners in Yirgalem Kale Hiywot Church. We wish all the best to you all who read this work report in Finland. May God bless you and your lives!