Are There Any Christian Cultures That Practice Arranged Marriage?

I suspect that some Mormons, and possibly some extreme fundamentalist sects in the deep South, practice arranged marriage. Are there any other Christian cultures that do?

Marriage customs are linked to culture generally, not simply to religion. Indian Christians, for example, will often do rather more by way of arranging their children’s marriages than most American Christians would.

Also, this is not a simple binary - that a marriage is either “arranged” or"not arranged". You can have a situation in which parents contrive meetings and introductions between their children of marriageable age and suitable partners, with the hope that marriage will ensue. This hope may or may not be explicitly acknowledged as between parents and children, and may extend to encouragement, but the children will not be expected to marry against their will. Would you describe a marriage that results as “arranged”?

Mormons don’t arrange marriages. I believe the FLDS do so, but if you’re talking about regular ol’ Mormons, the Salt Lake ones–no, they don’t. Your “suspicion” is wrong.

Do you mean this is the present tense? Until fairly recently, arranged and semi-arranged marriages were common in European cultures. The nobility of course comes to mind, but even amongst bourgeois and peasants this was widely practised.

I think there might be a confusion here between “Arranged” marriages and child marriages. Arranged marriages are quite common in India, and really what they are are situations where people of marriageable age decide they need a spouse so they or their families go to a matchmaker (or priest or astrologer) and find a suitable partner in the same position who is looking for someone matching their attributes.

A child marriage is where the parents decide that the child (who is quite young) is going to grow up and marry someone, and they settle on a contract to do this. Some Mormon fringe cults do force their daughters into marriage. In the South, I’ve never heard of a child marriage or an arranged marriage.

I know a couple people here in Ireland whose grandparents’ marriages were arranged. These were people from the country, not surprisingly.

My best friend is Korean and her parents’ marriage was originally arranged (although the arrangement collapsed and they eloped because they had fallen in love by that time). They’re Christians, although I’m not sure if they always were or converted on moving to the US.

IIRC some nominally Christian Mexican cultures dothis that come from the more remote and primitive parts of Mexico. Also I believe the Romacultures do this to some degree as well.

Also, there are different kinds of arranged marriages. In the ones I know of, the couples are not forced to be married. The couples are arranged to meet, and it is presumed that they will marry, but if either has a strong dislike for the other the marriage is cancelled.


The Roma tend to get married so young that I can’t imagine that it’s anything BUT arranged in most cases. I don’t think there are a lot of 12-year-olds hankering to get married without parental insistence, anyway. They are pretty religiously diverse, though. Most of the Roma I know are Muslims.

ETA: It’s also fairly common, at least in rural areas of the Balkans, for the Roma to engage in forced marriage, complete with kidnapping young girls off the street.