Which Christian Communities Practice Arranged Marriage

I’m aware of two Christian communities that still practice arranged marriage, or some form thereof: one is certain fundamentalist Mormon sects, and the other is certain Gypsy (for lack of a better word) communities.

Are there any others?

Until fairly recent times, marriages were still “arranged” in Mediterranean countries, in the sense that a daughter was “expected” to marry into a certain family. The extent to which that expectation evolved from compulsion was a gradual one, moving faster in urban societies. To this day, it would likely be possible to find remote villages where marriage is strongly influenced by the wishes of the parents, sufficient to the degree that it might be called “arranged marriage”.

Furthermore, “arranged marriage” is not a religious, but a socio-cultural phenomenon, and I suspect that in countries where arranged marriages are widespread, this practice is also engaged in by the Christian minorities. Although I cannot cite any evidence to that effect, and I mention it only because Christianity by itself does not necessarily immunize families from prevailing practices in a locality.

jtur88 nailed it. Everyone knows that arranged marriage is common among Indian Hindus, but it’s also common in the other Indian religious communities. By way of example, this website is sort of a J-Date for Indian Christian parents.

Russian Orthodox in the past, if Fiddler on the Roof is anything to go by.

Not to derail the conversation, but many mainline Christian denominations don’t consider “fundamentalist Mormon sects” to be Christian, and some mainline Mormons don’t consider them to be “Mormon” either.

I was born and grew up in India as a Hindu and attended a Catholic school and have many Christian (not all Catholic) back in India.

To give meaning to the OP, I am quoting the following from Wikipedia:

Arranged marriages in the middle economic classes in India predominantly fall in the 2nd or 3rd category. The 3rd category is on the rise though. For my Christian friends from India, it has always have been more of the 3rd category.

The OP mentions the gypsies and I need to remind the OP that the gypsies (Romanis) are originally from India (Hindu).

Nitpick: the plural of Romani is Romani.

Which Mediterranean countries would that be, and what are you calling “fairly recent”? Your sentence is about as vague as “in the Middle Ages” and the closest to that I’m familiar with in Spain is being expected to stay within your social class (and this was an individual thing, for the same location and class you had some who had that burr up their ass and others who did not).

I’ve never seen the play or movie, but wasn’t the story about Russian Jews, not Orthodox Christians?

Using that as a guideline, lots of the Quiverfull and similar movements (think the Duggars) do the 2nd category, maybe blended with the 3rd. I think the kids have a lot of say (veto power) but not necessarily a lot of, for lack of a better word, promotional power.

As Dewey Finn notes, that’s about a Jewish, not a Christian community.

Seconding quiverfull/gothard communities. Parents have a LOT of power over life choices, and if your parent (father specifically) wants you to marry a certain person, there aren’t many options available to avoid it.

It’s not called arranged marriages, but it fits the criteria.

The Reverend Moon’s Unification Church does mass marriages between couples who have barely even seen each other before the wedding.

I was going to mention this one. I was friends with (they tried to recruit me) a bunch of Unification folks back in the day. Some were mass-married to strangers and not at all happy about it!

How about saying “No” (perhaps multiple times) - wouldn’t that avoid it?

Sure, if you want to chance your father responding by ‘spanking’ you with a strap for refusing his ‘headship’ over you, or perhaps beating you with rubber hose so it doesn’t leave as many marks, or locking you in a room until you submit like a proper child of God, or refusing to allow you to eat with the family, or dragging you in front of the congregation to be publically shamed as a whore(because why else would you have an opinion about a boy) or accused of being demon possessed (because why else would you be so rebellious).

Or you could run away from home, with no skills, no money, no friends outside the church, and no trust in secular (demonic and evil) authorities to do anything other than rape you and leave you for dead.

Which of those do you prefer?
Now, sure - some families aren’t that strict, and some truly do want their kids to have a say in their marriages, and some wouldn’t dream of physical abuse, but for a lot of people in that community, a girl saying ‘no’ multiple times TO HER FATHER is a sign of serious rebellion and possible spiritual contamination that calls for drastic measures to counteract. It’s just Not Done.

Those that strictly follow the Bill Gothard teachings do. According to his version of courtship, allowing people to choose their own spouse is to reject the teachings of God.

I couldn’t give specifics, but there’s a heck of a lot of Christians and a heck of a lot of arranged marriages all over Africa, and there is bound to be some overlap.

Ah yes, so it was. Please excuse the brain fart.


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