Marrying Someone of a Different Religion

March 18, 2020 by No Comments

To many people, religion is something close to the heart and even when they seek out a partner, they would prefer someone who shares the same faith. However, love is strange sometimes and even if we tell ourselves that we should only marry such and such a person, fate may have a different plan in store for us.

I have seen and heard of inter-faith marriages that work wonderfully and I have also come across relationships that falter just prior to marriage because of different beliefs. For instance, my dad has an old friend who married a woman of a different faith. Every morning, he would light up joss sticks at the home altar as a Buddhist while on Sundays, his wife would make her way to the church being a Christian. They have been doing this for decades and it doesn’t seem to pose a problem that they believe in different gods.

On the other hand, I have a Moslem friend who fell in love with a Brit while studying in the UK and because he refused to convert, they ended up going separate ways. In some cases, the difficulties of marrying someone of a different religion are many and these may include objections from parents and elders. In their eyes, marrying someone outside of their own religion may be a sin and objections are seen as being for the person’s own good.

But I also know of someone who married a husband of a different faith despite heavy objections and practically being disowned by her parents. Having been brought up as a strict Moslem, the difficulties she faces for marrying someone of a different religion not only comes from parental pressure but also the guilt within which she has to grapple with.

I think inter-faith marriages would only work if there is healthy respect for each other’s beliefs. If you try to get the person to convert if he or she is not prepared to do so, that will only spell trouble. Of course, you may think you are doing your partner good by getting him or her to believe in the “right” religion but what is right for you may not necessarily be right for another.

Furthermore, I feel that getting a person to convert because of love rather than because of something that comes from his or her own spiritual experience seems a little hollow. If you feel that you are living in sin if you have a partner of a different religion, then it is only right that you find ways to deal with your own guilt. Otherwise, asking your partner to convert to make yourself feel less sinful doesn’t seem quite right either.

Well, that’s my opinion anyway. What’s yours?

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