Ask a Baha’i: Should People of Different Faith Marry?
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Commentary by Daniel Pschaida
Do you think people of different faith should marry?
Bahá’u’lláh stated his purpose is to “quicken the world and unite its people.”
The watchword of the Bahá’í Faith is “unity in diversity.” Some of the implications of “unity in diversity” include encouragement to not only push oneself outside of one’s normal environments to create friendships with people of different racial backgrounds but also interracial marriage is encouraged.
As for interfaith marriage, the important thing for Bahá’ís is that in the courting process, a couple determines that they have strong shared values and qualities of character and that they can communicate well with each other (including under pressure) to come to a mutual understanding and create collaborative patterns of marriage and family life.
Here are a couple of quotations from Bahá’í writings on family life and marriage:
- “Bahá’í marriage is the commitment of the two parties one to the other, and their mutual attachment of mind and heart. Each must, however, exercise the utmost care to become thoroughly acquainted with the character of the other, that the binding covenant between them may be a tie that will endure forever. Their purpose must be this: to become loving companions and comrades and at one with each other for time and eternity…”
- “The Lord, peerless is He, hath made woman and man to abide with each other in the closest companionship, and to be even as a single soul. They are two helpmates, two intimate friends, who should be concerned about the welfare of each other.”
There is no guidance that prevents or advises against a Bahá’í marrying someone of a different religion, and, in my decades as a Bahá’í, I have observed many Bahá’ís in interfaith marriages who distinguishably embody the qualities described above. They support each other’s distinct religious paths, really becoming agents of the unity of humankind through their interfaith marriage.
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