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Inter-faith marriage

My G/f in Ben Tre has been told by a colleague that a Buddhist and a Christian cannot get married unless 1 or other changes faith, has anyone had experience of this or is just an interpretation ?

Hi Mark,

There’s your “Get out of Jail card”.   🤓

Hi Mark,

Have a read up HERE

As I wrote previously, if your wife's being a Buddhist is not a problem for you, there is no problem at all. BTW my wife and I met 19 years ago and are happily  married with a 10 year old completely bilingual daughter. In fact, we are all bilingual.

"Cannot get married" is false. From a legal sense. We weren't asked about religion at all when we got married in Saigon. Communist country, leaders don't recognize religion.

Maybe the colleague is talking about some spiritual crime of interfaith marriage. Pretty sure buddhism is less strict about this than some christian sects. Can't help you there. You might want to interrogate that bugger before he/she/it causes any more trouble. :mad:

"You might want to interrogate that bugger before he/she/it causes any more trouble."

RIGHT ON, BRO!

Up until 50 or 60 years ago, marrying a person of different faith was a big of a stir socially and the woman (always the woman) had to give up her faith before the wedding took place.  It had not been that way for more than 40 years now.  I've seen many, many, many families with members who belong to different faiths live together harmoniously.  My very large family is one of those  -- although our harmony is questionable half of the time :)   Our Buddhists, papists, and atheists have been sitting at the same table since some point in the '70s.  We've argued and quarreled more often than not, but never because of our different religions.

"Cannot" as in legally?  Whoever said that has windmills in his/her brain.

i was wondering about that. I heard im supposed to get a certificate from my old priest in Belfast that im a good wee Catholic, to get a christening of our child. He would be long gone, much like my church attendance.


the mother is atheist/kinda buddhist/ normal viet. dunno if she's supposed to have a cert too??

gobot :

Pretty sure buddhism is less strict about this than some christian sects.

Oh, much better than "less strict".   It's not at all strict.  There is no such rule as "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" in Buddhism.  Gautama Buddha did not see himself as God, therefore he never stopped his followers from trying out other outfits.  He's an enlightened teacher who shared his insights with others, and even then, he never said his way was the only right way.  There's no competition or exclusivity in Buddhism in any shape or form.

Thaiger :

the mother is atheist/kinda buddhist/ normal viet. dunno if she's supposed to have a cert too??

There isn't a certificate of being a good Buddhist.  Buddhism is not a religion in the strict definition.  It's a way of life, and the monks are sort of teacher assistants, not leaders or rule enforcers or schedule keepers.

It sounds like the friend of OP's new wife was hit on the head with one of those Ben Tre coconuts.

I remember this not-so-old thread (March 2016), in a slightly different context , that might give us an insight into what makes OP's g/f's colleague worry about inter-faith marriage and conversion/s.

@Mark
Like others said, the question of religion or faith never arises in a legal marriage in Vietnam.
Justice Dept. who handles the legal paperwork to grant a Marriage Certificate will never ask you about you guys' religions etc.

After reading your post I decided to discuss it with some elderly locals (both men and women) whom I  occasionally meet in a coffee shop.
To my surprise I realized that some Buddhist Vietnamese do have some concerns that if their son/daughter gets married to a Christian (read Catholic Vietnamese), he/she and his/her parents will be persuaded to follow strict Christian (Catholic) rituals at home or in their everyday lives.
Things can get more complicated if the family is a devout Buddhist family.

Religion/faith is a sensitive personal choice. No one likes to do anything under compulsion, however open one is .

I guess, your g/f's colleague has had the same perception about inter-faith marriage.
He/she probably doesn't even know the difference between Protestantism, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Church.
In case of local marriages (between two Vietnamese citizens) social marriage is more important than legal marriage. Many don't even bother to have their MCs.

Whatever it is, before it's too late, you should talk to your G/f and clarify any doubt or concern she (or her family) may have about inter-faith marriage.

senwl :

I remember this not-so-old thread (March 2016), in a slightly different context , that might give us an insight into what makes OP's g/f's colleague worry about inter-faith marriage and conversion/s.

@Mark
Like others said, the question of religion or faith never arises in a legal marriage in Vietnam.
Justice Dept. who handles the legal paperwork to grant a Marriage Certificate will never ask you about you guys' religions etc.

After reading your post I decided to discuss it with some elderly locals (both men and women) whom I  occasionally meet in a coffee shop.
To my surprise I realized that some Buddhist Vietnamese do have some concerns that if their son/daughter gets married to a Christian (read Catholic Vietnamese), he/she and his/her parents will be persuaded to follow strict Christian (Catholic) rituals at home or in their everyday lives.
Things can get more complicated if the family is a devout Buddhist family.

Religion/faith is a sensitive personal choice. Nobody likes to do anything under compulsion, however open they are.

I guess, your g/f's colleague has had the same perception about inter-faith marriage.
He/she probably doesn't even know the difference between Protestantism, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Church.
In case of local marriages (between two Vietnamese citizens) social marriage is more important than legal marriage. Many don't even bother to have their MCs.

Whatever it is, before it's too late, you should talk to your G/f and clarify any doubt or concern she (or her family) may have about inter-faith marriage.

Agree about the social marriage being more important. I married a girl from a small farming community, and her parents wanted to show their friends and other farmers that their daughter was getting married in the way that the community would be accepting of. My wife's sister got pregnant and never had a wedding ceremony at the family home as it would have brought disgrace to her family.

Just wondering how well the OP knows this lady. As I remember he was living in Perth for many years and just doing trips here over the years.

Before rushing into marriage, I would get to know the woman before taking the big leap.

Like many others have said 'Run'

http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b54dc.html

MarkinNam :

http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b54dc.html

Here's the latest one :)
VIETNAM MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LAW 2014

The point of these links is...?

colinoscapee :

The point of these links is...?

I guess because they are related to marriage?  :/

I thought the thread was about differences in faith, now we have been given the complete list of VN marriage laws.

colinoscapee :

I thought the thread was about differences in faith, now we have been given the complete list of VN marriage laws.

I was surprised when OP posted ONLY that link ... a 1986 version of the law.
I just cited the 2014 version of the same.
May be he had something in mind related to 'VN Marriage Laws' vs 'inter-faith marriage'.  :unsure
I can see, he's posted the same link on another thread "Living with Vietnamese girlfriend....what problems may I encounter?"
Just wondering, if OP is too concerned about what's right and what's wrong. :/

According to the VIETNAM MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LAW 2014:

..........
Article 2. Fundamental principles of the marriage and family regime
.......

2. Marriage between Vietnamese citizens of different nationalities or religions, between religious and non-religious people, between people with beliefs and people without beliefs, and between Vietnamese citizens and foreigners shall be respected and protected by law.

.....

Article 22. Respect for the right to freedom of belief and religion of husband and wife
Husband and wife have the obligation to respect each other’s right to freedom of belief and religion.

..........

As for Buddhism prohibiting inter-faith marriages. Doubtful at best, nonsense at worst. Buddhism encourages feelings of joy from others successes (Which is actually the opposite of feelings of pleasure that comes from other peoples failures). Rather than belittle the Ops g/f, the colleague should be pleased (and have cause for celebration).

My wife is from Ben Tre too.  Neither one of us is a practitioner of either faith but I guess you could say she is a Buddhist and I at least come from a Christian mother.  I found out from her after we were married for a year that one of the neighbors had told my mother-in-law that she shouldn't have let her daughter marry an American, not because of religion but because her late husband had been a VC soldier.  My mother-in-law who is a devout Buddhist apparently told them to mind their own business.  What a great mother-in-law.   :top: 

There apparently is still some anti-American sentiment in Ben Tre but that may be partly because of provincialism.  Remember Ben Tre was the actual place where "We had to destroy the village to save it" was spoken.

If you marry, there will be enough cross cultural problems to worry about.   Religion is really not likely to be one of them unless you are rigid about your Christianity.  If you go to church, don't drag her with you unless she asks to go.

Maybe the allegiance to the Viet Cong is still in the minds of some.

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