Should two people of different religions marry?

United States
February 19, 2010 10:27am CST
Yesterday, my two longtime friends have decided to divorce because of religious differences. He was a devout Muslim and she a devout Christian, the differences in the marriage apparently were to much. He felt that his wife should live his way, and she felt that she could not trust in anything he said because she believed he was wrong in religion and felt he would be wrong in other marital beliefs. After she read up on the Muslim culture she was appauled by what she learned and he was upset that she just did not get it. The differences proved to create a wedge between these two otherwise loving people. My thought is that when you marry you should have a shared belief and understanding of God as having him in your marriage will make it and you stronger, what do you think about this?
8 people like this
36 responses
@phoenix8606 (4978)
19 Feb 10
hi! yes, why should they not marry? the love is something very different from religion, and I don't think somewhere in the bible is written, that people rom different religions can't marry. even the parents of my cousin are from different religions- his mother is Orthodox and his father Budist! And there is nothing wrong in it when they love each other
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 10
The couple I speak of is having problems, they are unhappy because his religion has rules that she cant seem to understand and she thinks it is wrong not to believe in Jesus, to put limitations on her personal being and to be made to feel that she is stupid. She has pointed out that in his Koran it has some very real differences which she is unhappy with. He on the other hand feels that Christian women are far too outspoken, that the wife of a muslem man should be quiet, beautiful and obedient at all times. She is also upset because they have very different ideas about children, keeping a home, how to eat food, and where she should be allowed to go by herself. Having been raised Christian in the United States she was raised to teach the Word in Sunday School, he thinks this is an abomination. She wears her hair out and always has and he is severly iritated when she goes out uncovered. They have these arguements all the time especially when their parents come to visit. I see their point.
1 person likes this
19 Feb 10
wow, now I understand you! The Muslims are very strict in their religion, and that's why I don't like it really They must follow so many rules, and this religion is rather a force than becoming calm and faithful
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 10
The issue is not that they follow different religions. That's a matter than can be negotiated before a marriage. The issue is that he sees her as "the wife of a Muslim[1] man" and not as "a Christian woman." If they were of the same religion, they'd still be having problems because he doesn't see her as a person in her own right, but as an appendage. No religion has a monopoly on that. [1] Note capitalization.
@samson1967 (7426)
• India
19 Feb 10
True love will not have discrimination such as caste creed or God. Love is not blind but the lovers are blind, though they have eyes they cannot see.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 10
well said!
2 people like this
• Philippines
20 Feb 10
But do you believe True Love is governed by Principles? I mean Moral Principles that involve religion...
• United States
22 Feb 10
Yes I do, True love is a place you get too, not a today emotion. I truly love my husband because he is a good man, a great provider, an awesome lover (for me), a great father, and we share common interests (ie religion). It was not instantaneous like some people think, I grew to love him and to respect and believe he was right for me. Though the sentiment that you wrote is well said. It leaves out the things that man is used to. You have other considerations like family, children, livelihoods and numerous other things. I would not marry a man that my family was too strongly against because it would cause a war within my very close family. I needed for my husband ( who is my second husband) to understand, respect and be a good role model for my children. Because together we have so many children we both needed a livelihood that brought us good incomes. and we needed to share common interests such as our religion which has common rules for child rearing, relations with your husband or wife, how the woman is to be treated in the marriage, and your responsibilites. In some other religions those expectations are clearly different and what woman wants that. That is why marriage is so hard for some is because they go against these particular principles.
@vivasuzi (4126)
• United States
19 Feb 10
That is something that needs to be discussed before marriage. I see nothing wrong with 2 religions getting married as long as they know what they are getting into and agree before hand. If you have 2 religions, you need to agree how to raise the kids, what religious activities you'll participate in, everything. I'm surprised that she didn't know anything about his religion BEFORE getting married. Just seems like people need to talk more before getting married. Communication could have stopped these two from getting married in the first place if she had a problem with his beliefs.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 10
Agreed in a way. These are my long time friends, they respected each others religion before marriage. It was quite easy to be friends when discussions about your religion were not a part of the equation. However once they were married the situation changed, now husband and wife, he wanted his wife to live the muslem way and she wanted her husband to be more Christian. But I agree more communication may have solved the problem. However, I do know a couple who did discuss all the problems associated with being different religions, and they did not have any problems until children came along and they each decided to raise thier children by thier own religion.
1 person likes this
• South Africa
23 Feb 10
pastorbarend (1693) What I can understand is the issue of love when it comes to different religions which married couples are faced with. It is clear when using the Bible as a guide that God is a jealous God and want to be serve alone. What I would like to know is how can the one believe that Jesus Christ has been baptised (immerse) and the other one believe that although I am a Christian, I believe in the Orthodox way of sprinkling. I have tried for 22 years and see that to serve God in spirit and in truth, you need to do God's will and until now me and my wife still differs on the issue of serving God the proper way. I am called to be an evangelist but based on the differences in religion in my marriage I cannot do the will of God and bear in mind the agreement was that we will not stand in wants way but today the wife wants to say more as to how I need to serve God and how need fulfill my calling. This situation is causing also confusing to our kids, aged 19 and 15. Then one start to question God is this really want He wants for one.
@1anurag1 (3585)
• India
19 Feb 10
I think if they decided to go with eachother i meant from marriage. then here it seems that the muslim friend wants every thing only from his wife.i think there is a need of compromise. i think he must not impose the religion to his wife.i think they both must have respect for each other. even i will say one thing. A religion should not be so big as it could break the relation. and if it happens the religion must be ignored for a relation.
2 people like this
@crazybubu (230)
• India
19 Feb 10
I guess yes,since people are in love with each other.Then they should definitly marry irrespective of there religion.Love knows no religion no caste and no creed.Its above all...
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 10
Love may not know it but marriage does. I always hear people speak of what love knows (no offense here) however marriage knows all these things. I love my husband and I think he is the most wonderful man in the world, but there are numerous things I disagree with, however our religion is not one of them, our child rearing preferences is not one of them and our goals for the future is not one of them. However if they were, he would not have been my husband long. One of the reasons marriages work (to me) is because you love and respect each other and because you respect (and in most cases, agree with) the other persons values. If they are a devout budhist and you are a devout Christian, love may not know it but you do. You know that his religion is not the same as you. You know that he now is intent on teaching what you consider crazy to your children. If you are the guy, you know that and you are muslem and she is Christian, you know that other men will see her hair in public, which should be seen by only you. You know she will not pray to Allah, you know she will not be quiet, walk three steps behind you and be obedient and never question you. You also know that she will not raise your son the way you want her too. However I do agree that love does not know all those things, but love alone does not make a marriage.
1 person likes this
@LaurenInLA (2273)
• United States
19 Feb 10
I think that these kinds of scenarios are very difficult. My stepson was involved in the same kind of situation. The young lady that he married was a very devout Jew and he was a very devout Catholic. Although they dated for little over 5 years, their marriage only lasted 6 months. He was upset that she wouldn't go to church with him on days that were very important religious holidays to him. I think that the difficulty is when two people are devout. I've seen successful marriage between two people of different religions but typically one of the two parties is indifferent to which religion is practiced and to which religion children are raised in.
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21675)
• Canada
19 Feb 10
Hi pastorkayle, I feel that it depends on the individuals involved and that all of this should be resolved before marriage. Blessings.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 10
I'm Wiccan, my wife is Buddhist. We seem to manage. It's amazing what respecting religions not ones own can do.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 10
Well i do think two persons with different religious can marry, but both people have to tolerate the belief of the other one, when this things doesn't work is when both people are fanatics, which I think is what was happening here, and also is a problem when you take the religion too literal that distort the views that we have as a society. My grandmother is a very devoted catholic and my grandfather is a very devoted Jewish, they are 90 years old and they have been together for 60 years. But they both respect each others religions, and that is why they have last for so many years.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 10
Little thing here is that the major principles of the two religions are the same. It is easy for two religions steeped in the Jewish concept to get along. Jesus was a Jew and then his life brought Christianity (Catholic) not really a big difference, but when your religion is completely different you will soon find that life does not work out for you and your spouse.
1 person likes this
@edxcast (1169)
• Ecuador
19 Feb 10
I dont really know if they should or not, all i know is i wouldnt do it. In my case im catholic and not marrying through church(which requires both of us being catholics) would be like not marrying at all, but that is just my personal opinion.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Feb 10
I also feel that your religion should be the same or at the very least have the same basic principals. My husband and I are both Christiands, he is Penicostal and I am Evangelical, which means we are just about the same thing with very minor differences. Therefore we have the same principles as each other and thus have similar ideals when it comes to the running of our home, how I should act, how our children should be raised and what Bible and lessons are taught and learned in our home, which leads to a stronger lasting relation built on mutual religious trust and individual trust over all.
1 person likes this
@Mady2791 (547)
• United States
19 Feb 10
It depends on the couple and each one is different. It doesn't work for all though. They definitely shouldn't marry if one of them has hopes that some day he/she can convert/convince the other one to change religions.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Feb 10
absolutely!!!!!
1 person likes this
@mariechin (428)
• Philippines
19 Feb 10
If they can resolve their differences BEFORE marriage my answer is YES. If they can't, they should think TWICE. If they THINK they can, then they should COMPROMISE. Everybody believes in God. What happen in your friends marriage is they become too focus on the doctrines and not on the relationship they have with God.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Feb 10
Maybe so...However, I think that the things that were instilled in them may have had the most to do with them. They were raised in their respective religions and have only known them. While they clearly loved each other the complete change was too much for their relationship.
1 person likes this
• India
20 Feb 10
Yes, This will reduce the orthodox religious beliefs,We will get closer to one other's. Now a days Hindu don't want that his communities people go for marry to other community and same thought have muslims. These perceptions are barrrier of our mental progress. Let think we lived under one sky, foot support on single land, water never ask ourself before wetting our throat that you are hindu, muslim or christian. Its attribute is same to all. Feeling of emotion ,love and happines is same in all human being, we are all cry at the time of sorrow. We are all similar , aw are the child of one God, then why we are binding ourself in specific religion,casts and country. I think we should accept inter religous marriages to stop the exploitation of orhodox religious beliefs.
1 person likes this
@Gany15k (1674)
• India
19 Feb 10
Really I will go with marrying between two different religions are good.It is the only way we can build a strong path between the two groups.But individual matters a lot.Even it is love marriage there is possibility of disagreeing with each other thoughts.So this could break up their relation.So decision should be correct or else it will lead to big problem between two different religions. It is not at all healthy to the country even it is a single marriage.
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18315)
19 Feb 10
First of all I want to say that these two were not fully prepared to be married. They should have had frank discussions about such matters before they married and if they could not do that then they were not ready to marry. Too many people rush into marriage without proper preparation. Certainly, for the Christian divorce is forbidden, in Islam divorce is easy (For men) They should try and work out a compromise. Who walks in Love, walks in God. There are successful marriages between Muslim and Christian but both must be tolerant, respectful of the others beliefs and pray together for guidance. all the best urban
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22994)
• United States
25 Feb 10
He felt that his wife should live his way, and she felt that she could not trust in anything he said because she believed he was wrong in religion and felt he would be wrong in other marital beliefs I think this is sad really...I mean I wouldnt marry a person because of their religious beliefs etc I'd marry a person because I love him ya know..AND i respect the fact that we are NOT carbon copies of one another so to expect my partner to believe as I do or visa versa for that matter, is just arrogant and narrowminded IMO.... I have to ask though, were they married long and why was this issue NOT discussed BEFORE getting married??
• United States
26 Feb 10
First of all they were married for a while, and yes the issue was married long before they were married. They thought they could overcome religious differences because they were in love and they thought that love conquered all things. However they were unprepared for the fact that they both would have to give up aspects of their religion that they so vehemently believed. That is what happened to them.
@Ravenladyj (22994)
• United States
1 Mar 10
However they were unprepared for the fact that they both would have to give up aspects of their religion that they so vehemently believed see thats why I'm not really fond of religion...People tend to believe in such a rigid fashion it really can damage their lives which is a shame..I'm the type of person who feels we should be bendable ya know..to me personally they could both sway more in their beliefs WITHOUT necessarily giving any aspect up and to me thats how it should be especially when it comes to truly loving someone..Thats just me though yaknow..
• United States
1 Mar 10
I disagree in that I have a strong Christian belief and it has only made my life better, however I dont have any disagreements with my husband because we are the same religion and we believe the same thing. Therefore we dont have a problem as this because it only makes each other stronger. We are also not confused about what religion to choose to teach our children because our belief again is the same.
@Lata_45 (219)
• India
20 Feb 10
love has no Religion. Religion is something that makes you respectable human but now this term has been misunderstood and portrayed in a wrong way. whereas love cannot be ended just because of reason "RELIGION". According to me we should consider inter caste or inter religion marriages as it will be a step towards binding two totally different families together which will help in sharing as well as enriching humanity, just a step towards world peace
• United States
21 Feb 10
Yes but a divorce can happen because you have differences, religion is just one of them. Love is one of the best gifts you can give someone, and when you fall in love with someone you think you are above all things and can make it work, but sometimes these things hurt the marriage. An example, I love my husband with all my heart but he is not the best with money, and I am. I have since taken over family finances but he thinks that is a mans job. This was something we had to come to terms with and it was not easy. We did learn how to compromise however it affected our relationship for a long time. The same thing happens when you speak of religion. It may need compromise but it affects your marriage anyway.
@Lata_45 (219)
• India
22 Feb 10
well I agree with you but my point is this all things has been misunderstood and portrayed in wroong way it means all this terms has taken a shape of term called "EGO" this is the root cause of all such differences this need to be consider and wiped off. People should start thinking as WE not as I
• United States
22 Feb 10
Again I agree with you thank you.
@cycomz (72)
• Philippines
20 Feb 10
Well..religious belief is a critical issue in an intimate relationship..but in my own experience, it is fine to be committed to someone with different religion as long as you both don't talk about it..or if it cannot be avoided, both should discuss the matter in mature/grown-up manner, putting in mind that both of their "Superiors" wants understanding, not arguments...the relationship should be more important than their religion..in case of Muslim and Christian, if they listen to both sides, they would end up in a conclusion that they are both serving the same GOD..history of Islam and Christianity tells that they originated with the same ancestors..they only part ways in times of Jesus Christ and Mohammad..so basically, they are serving the same God...I hope you agree, but disagreement is very much welcome..I am interested in other people's belief than mine..som if you think I'm wrong, I'll follow your response...God bless..Assalamu Alaykum..("')
• United States
21 Feb 10
While overall this is by far the best of my responses so far, here is the thing, being a different religion when you are both devout is easier to overlook when you first get married, even when you talk about it. Most people will discuss it and think that love will keep them together because they think that love will conquer all. Then after being married for a little while, small things will start to bother you, such as the 5 prayers a day, or the fact that a Muslim man will want to have a wife who walks behind him or keep her hair covered. The Muslim man had a life before you and the pressure of hearing his brothers, mother, father and those he loves as much as he loves her, are asking how can she disrespect the family by showing up in our house with her hair uncovered and those things will start the break down of the marriage. Another thing is when you are a Christian woman and you have spent your whole life spreading the word of God and suddenly your husband you love tells you this is not appropriate because you have to have conversation with other men, which he feels with his whole heart is wrong, you learn quickly you dont like this. So what do you do. You get angry because he wants you to go to Mosque with other Muslims because his wife should be by his side and you cant because you must go to church, some of these are reasons.
@cycomz (72)
• Philippines
26 Feb 10
thanks pastorkayte..conflict between religions sometimes break good relationships, not only marriage, but also friendships, companionship and more..I am Christian, but what makes me busy this time is learning Islam....I have been discussing about Islam with some of myLot friends..I am also visiting Islamic websites..I believe that this can help me avoid disagreement with any Muslim I meet..If I'm in the middle of confusion, I don't really worry..I always refer to James 1:5-6 of the Bible..God bless.
• United States
2 Mar 10
You too God Bless.
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
21 Feb 10
I would not recommend people of different religions to marry.Especially so, if both are very serious about their religions like the example you have given - the man a devout practicing Muslim and the woman a devout Christian. It is sad that they are heading for divorce, despite the presence of love. As averred by many before me, they should have discussed this aspect first before marriage. Religions being what they are, they are cause for much strife in the world. Perhaps those who have given up religion, for rationality could only think of marrying without considerations of "religion". One problem of mixed marriage is wht will be the religion of the offspring?
• United States
22 Feb 10
I agree completely, how complicated that would be to have to decide that half your children are muslim and half Christian.
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
23 Feb 10
That is somewhat better. I mean if such a couple has an even number of children, and half of them are raised as Christians and half the number as Muslims, it is just about OK. Think of the sitaution with an odd number of children! It will then become a power struggle and insinuations and counter-insinuations. Worse still would be each child is half-Christian and half-Muslim in their living styles! They are neither here nor there. Now is the problem within Abrahamic Religions where at least there is some basis to search for commonality. Thin of a mix-up like Buddist and Muslim or some very incompatible religions like Hinduism and Islam. On the very face of it the Hindu idolatry is anathems, why blasphemy to the Muslim. And man no one knows for sure what God wants? All our assertions are merely re-statements of Scriptural Words! In some remote future, just as in these days a lot of Fusion Music is being created, and enjoyed by many too, if only Fusion religion could be created to become a kind of ONE RELIGION concept, then there could really tbe much needed common ground that need not be treated as a conquest. It is not that such ideas were never attempted. You have Sikhism a kind of fusion of Hunduism and Islam, you have the Baha-i- Faith a fusion of several religions, and Akbar the Great's Din-i-Ilahi. How many of them succeeded? There were always a handful of adherents, and either that religion continued to be a "curiosity" or a minority. Hence I feel what is the best course of action is for everyone to learn as much as possible about other religions only to see how much common ground is there and to eliminate Religious strife. Marriage is not the only way to bind people together.
• India
1 Mar 10
Hello, I am so shocked to hear the story. You really can't do nothing about it. These superstition is so deep rooted. Reaching beyond mediocrity is not an easy thing to accomplish. I've talked to people from many religions. I am Hindu, but I've read books and followed almost all major religions in the world. I have found that all those conflicts among religions are just introduced by few selfish and hardheaded people. Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, they are all actually have the same thing to say. But unfortunately it is the apparent difference that interests and instigates us the most. Very few of us are ready to go deeper. We don't seek God. By giving attention to unimportant details we are rather staying away from all the divinity. A religion that puts itself above humanism is no religion at all. People who call themselves devotee of such misconception are actually superstitious, fanatic and ignorant. I don't blame them. No matter how elevated a theory is, its effectiveness finally depends on the person who teaches it. God bless you all
• United States
2 Mar 10
Wow! Thank you, what you said was deeply profound and I enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you