Local sources say Father Pierluigi Maccalli of the Society of African Missions was most likely taken across the border to Burkina Faso.
Maccalli was known for organizing meetings with local women to educate them about FGM, which, according to another priest based in Niger, “may be one of the reasons for the kidnapping, according to local sources.’’
FGM includes all procedures involving partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
Most girls who have undergone FGM are cut between the ages of four and 12. Short-term complications can include hemorrhaging, pain, shock, and even death, while long-term complications include formation of cysts, problems with sexual intercourse and giving birth, chronic pelvic infection and sterility.
The trauma of FGM often lasts a lifetime and can cause depression and anxiety, among other psychological problems.
FGM reduces or eliminates sexual pleasure for the victim. It is considered a religious obligation by some Islamic authorities in order to control a women’s sexual desires.
Every year some three-million girls undergo FGM. The World Health Organization estimates 200 million girls and women alive today underwent the procedure. It is mainly practiced in Africa as well as in Muslim-majority countries and immigrant communities in Europe, the United States and Canada.
While FGM is not mentioned in the Quran, it is mentioned in many seminal Islamic sources as a praiseworthy practice.
FGM is one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time and one that is mostly ignored.
This following is the story of one man who is trying to change the world and eradicate this brutal practice:
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