Interfaith marriage, often known as “mixed marriage,” is a marriage between spouses who practice different religions. Interfaith weddings are most typically established as civil marriages, however; they can also be established as religious marriages in specific cases. This is dependent on each of the two parties’ religious doctrines; some religions forbid interfaith marriage, while others allow it with varying degrees of permissibility.
Several major religions are silent on the subject, while others allow it if certain rituals and customs are followed. Resistance to interfaith marriage may be a form of self-segregation for ethnoreligious groups. Each partner in an interfaith marriage usually practices their own religion. The choice of faith in which to raise the children is one issue that can emerge in such couples.
What is an Interfaith Marriage
Interfaith marriage, according to Joanides (2004), is a marriage between two people of different faiths; such as a non-Christian marrying a Greek Orthodox Christian. Counselors must be aware of the importance of spirituality and faith in their clients’ relationships.
Counselors should be aware of the goal of counseling interfaith couples, according to Eaton (1994); treatment involves dealing with family system dynamics while also educating; the couple about the role of cultural diversity in their relationship.
The purpose of treatment is to help the couple see their differences in a new light; use them to their advantage as they work to create a blended culture that meets their individual and partnership requirements; including religious and spiritual needs.
However, according to Gottman, recognizing a couple’s belief system is insufficient since “knowing of shared ideas is insufficient for comprehending; how they are in use in the marriage on a day-to-day basis.”
What does the bible say about Interfaith Marriage?
Several people have asked me in recent months what the Bible says about interfaith marriage. Interfaith marriage, for those who are unfamiliar with the word, is a marriage between spouses who practice different religions. I’ll give my response in this sequence over the next few posts.
- Is there anything in the Bible about interfaith marriage?
- Who is this applicable to?
- What practical considerations are there?
While the Old Testament has much to say about interfaith marriage, Paul’s instructions; to the Corinthians are the most frequently cited New Testament passages. Or what kind of friendship brings light and darkness together?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
A depiction of a wooden bar connecting two oxen is depicting in the phrase unequally yoke. When one team member is much stronger or taller than the other, this is call as an uneven yoke. The oxen are at odds with one another, rather than working together as a team.
A few additional Pauline passages, however, appear to point us on this path. For example, widows are allow to marry in 1 Corinthians 7:39, but “only if he loves the Lord. Paul explains his own situation by saying that, like Peter, he has the right to marry a Christian lady; but he chooses not to do so for ministry reasons (1 Cor. 9:5). With verses like these in mind, it’s easy to see why Paul thinks; both husband and wife are believers in Ephesians 5 when writing about marriage.
Interfaith Marriage Christianity
In Christianity, interfaith marriage is one in which a baptized Christian marries a non-baptized person (for example, a wedding between a Christian man and a Jewish woman); it is distinguishing from an interdenominational marriage, which is one in which two baptize Christians from two different Christian denominations marry, for example, a wedding between a Lutheran Christian and a Catholic Christian.
The early Church Fathers agreed that “interreligious marriage undermined the ecclesiological integrity of the Christian community,” though as Christianity spread, cases of non-Christian couples converting to Christianity arose; Apostolic Tradition, an early Christian Church Order, mentions an interfaith couple in its instructions on Christian prayer at the seven fixed prayer times and the ablutions preceding them, statin.
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Rise at 12 a.m., wash your hands with water, and pray. If you’re in a marriage, pray as a couple. If your partner hasn’t been baptizing, however, go into another room to pray before returning to bed. Do not be afraid to pray, because a person who has been in a marriage is not impure.
The Church of the East declared in the Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in AD 410 that “Christian women; should not marry beyond religious lines,” however Christian men are not allowing marrying “women of all countries; in order to “instruct them in the ways of Christianity.”
Interfaith Marriage in Islam
A fundamental legal problem in Sunni Islam is that the offspring of an interfaith marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is to be raised as a Muslim. Sharia has different rules for interfaith marriage depending on the gender of the potential intermarrying Muslim and the non-Muslim religion of the individual with whom a Muslim wishes to intermarry. A Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman if she is from the People of the Book, according to Islamic law (i.e., female Christians or female Jews).
Beyond this exemption, a Muslim man may not intermarry with females who are not from among the People of the Book, unless they convert to Islam. Thus, Muslim men is prohibited from intermarrying, for instance, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, etc., as well as pagans or atheists, unless the man/woman converts to Islam. Sikhs are monotheists but are not people of the book (Jews or Christians).
If a non-Muslim converts, it is no longer considered intermarriage, but rather a Muslim marriage, and hence is not forbidden. According to the Ashtiname of Muhammad, a treaty between Muslims and Christians recorded between Muhammad and Saint Catherine’s Monastery, the Christian spouse is not to be prevented from attending church for prayer and worship if the Muslim-Christian marriage is contracted only after permission from the Christian party.
Interfaith Marriage in Judaism
Interfaith marriage has historically been frowned upon by Jewish rabbis, and it continues to be so today. The Talmud and poskim forbid non-Jews from marrying Jews, and they debate whether the rule stems from the Torah or is just rabbinical. Moses of Coucy advised Jewish men who had married Christian or Muslim women to divorce their wives in 1236.
In 1236, Moses of Coucy encouraged Jewish men who had married Christian or Muslim women to divorce them. In 1844, the reform Rabbinical Conference of Brunswick permitted Jews to marry “any adherent of a monotheistic religion” if children of the marriage were raised Jewish. This conference was controversial; one of its resolutions called on members to abolish the Kol Nidre prayer, which opens the Yom Kippur service. One of the conference members then changed his mind and became an outspoken opponent of intermarriage.
Traditional Judaism does not consider marriage between a Jew by birth and a convert as intermarriage; Biblical passages which apparently support intermarriage, such as that of Joseph to Asenath and Ruth to Boaz, were regarded by classical rabbis as having occurred after the non-Jewish spouse had converted. Some still considered Canaanites forbidden to marry even after conversion, although this did not necessarily apply to their children.
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Orthodox Judaism forbids intermarriage and seeks to avoid making it easier. Conservative Judaism does not condone intermarriage, but instead advocates family acceptance of the non-Jewish spouse in the hopes of the partner’s conversion to Judaism. The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s United Synagogue Youth controversially changed a binding rule prohibiting its leaders from dating non-Jews, replacing it with a “knowledge of the value of dating within the Jewish community” in December 2014.
Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism do not generally regard the authority of classical rabbis; many rabbis from these denominations are willing to officiate at interfaith marriages, although they try to persuade intermarried couples to raise their children as Jews.
Future studies could look at the characteristics of the countries that are causing these discrepancies. Furthermore, when people identified commonalities rather than distinctions between Islam and Christianity, the link between religious belief and views toward interfaith marriage was weaker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do interfaith marriages work?
People of various faiths can marry and stay together in general if they agree on the religion they will practice or if they agree that they are not religious and do not consider themselves to be of any religious persuasion. If they both agree, that is the important phrase.
Is interfaith marriage a sin?
Almost all Christian faiths allow interdenominational marriages, while many Christian denominations advise against it, citing sections in the Christian Bible that ban it, such as 2 Corinthians 6:14–15, while certain Christian churches have established exceptions.