Does religious compatibility matter in relationships?

I live for warm summer nights. They are filled with memorable times, beautiful weather, and picturesque scenery that embodies the allure of some of God’s finest creations in nature. Reminiscing on a previous summer night, I was running errands with my boyfriend at the time. After a successful night of productivity we got into his car to head home when I opened my wallet and realized I dropped a $10 dollar bill sometime during the night by accident. An instant feeling of gratitude came over me because my faith kicked in at that moment–Islam. In Islam, Muslims believe that God deserves all praise for the good that occurs in our lives and God deserves all praise for what may seem like misfortune in our lives. Our misfortunes in hindsight may actually be some of our biggest blessings in disguise. I expressed to my boyfriend at the time an atheist, how I wished that I made whoever’s night that found the $10 dollar bill and how I had hoped that it could slightly change someone’s negative situation.

His response?

He was disappointed and borderline angry that my money was lost and expressed that if I planned on giving away money it should have been to him. He then arrogantly listed all of the things he could have done with the cash had I gave it to him instead of losing it. Instantly, I knew religion played a major role in our principles and morals. Our mindsets were completely different.

According to a recent Pew Research Center Survey, Marrying within the faith is common in the United States, with nearly 7/10 married people (69%) saying that their spouse shares their religion. But a comparison of recent and older marriages shows that having a spouse of the same religion may be less important to many Americans today than it was decades ago.

While different faiths usually disagree on a number of things, they all surprisingly agree that the idea of an interfaith marriage is a bad idea.

Some appalling statistics concerning interfaith marriages:

  • Kids in an interfaith marriage are twice as likely to be brought up in the mother’s faith than the father’s faith
  • In the West, interfaith marriages are mostly welcomed. In the East, they can lead to violence, honor killings, and a number of other anguishing consequences
  • American Muslims have the highest rate of interfaith marriages than any other Islamic community
  • 45% of the marriages that currently exist in the United States, as of 2010, where interfaith marriages
  • When one spouse is more religiously active than the other, then there is a higher level of marriage dissatisfaction that occurs
  • The risks of divorce increases for an interfaith marriage when a husband attends services more frequently or when a wife has a more conservative religious outlook
  • The United Nations believes that there are over 5,000 religious honor killings each year because of interfaith marriages
  • 25% of married couples who begin as interfaith couples will actually become same faith marriages
  • Marrying someone of another faith makes you more likely to have a positive impression of that faith as a whole

Personally speaking the chances of me dating outside of my religious beliefs again are slim to none. How about yourself, Could you date/marry outside of your religious beliefs? Why or why not?

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  1. We’ve had a winding path. We married as interfaith (both Christian, different denominations). Eventually hubby converted to Catholicism, but five years later we made the choice to leave the Catholic Church. Now we practice in the Methodist church (the faith he grew up in).

    I learned a lot from your facts about interfaith marriage. Great post!


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