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Question 250

What does the church really think of Cypriots marrying non Cypriots?  marrying out of culture?    

 

Answer to Question 250

 

I have never heard of the Church officially commenting on Cypriots marrying non Cypriots and I donít think she would because that would be considered as racist. But Iím sure individual priests have their own opinions, but these opinions are not based on whether the person is Cypriot but whether he/she is Orthodox. We have for example Orthodox people from other Orthodox countries like Greece, Russia, Serbia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and many more that would never raise an eyebrow because with these people, even though we have different cultures, we are united in the one faith. 

 

Marriages between an Orthodox and a non Orthodox, even if the person is a heterodox Christian can test a marriage especially if both parties are practising Christians. Problems almost always arise with the birth of children and which faith they should be baptized into and what faith they are to be brought up with. Raising them in both faiths can be confusing to children and leaving it until they grow up so that they can decide for themselves is not the ideal solution even though many choose to do this.  These problems need not be problems if the couple agree the matter of the childrenís faith before getting married, although I have known couples who agreed on the childrenís faith only to change their mind when the children actually came along, because they didnít take into account the influence of their own parents who were not informed of their decision. 

 

Culture also plays an important part and people from other cultures often feel isolated and find it hard to feel as belonging to family gatherings. Personally I think the ideal marriages are those where the couple share the same faith and culture, but that does not mean I am against other marriages. All marriages need a lot of work to be successful; itís just that some need extra work, but with love and respect all difficulties can be overcome.