A major insurer in the Netherlands defended its coverage of circumcision in boys younger than 18 for religious reasons amid criticism of the practice and the impact of Islam in society.

Zilveren Kruis, the kingdom's largest insurer, included religious circumcision in its 2017 brochure published earlier this month.

"We are seeing that some of the insured parties want to be circumcised or have their boys circumcised," the agency, whose name means "Silver Cross," wrote in a statement published Tuesday on its website in response to "various questions over why some complementary plans include reimbursement for non-medical circumcision."

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