38% of Hindus Marry Outside Dharmic Faiths in America

The landmark 2008 Pew Forum survey found that only 10% of Hindus in America married outside their faith. Although the survey covered 257 Hindu families, 86% of them were immigrants and 58% between the ages of 30-49. Thus, it focused on the first generation Hindu immigrants from India and reflects the norms of interfaith marriages in India. It does not provide information on the much higher rate of interfaith marriages that American-born, second generation Hindus are entering into. Our independent survey shows that 38% of marriage of young Hindus, Jains and Sikhs are to people of Abrahamic faiths (Christians, Jews and Muslims). Common family names of Hindus, Jains and Sikhs (followers of Dharma traditions) were picked from the Macy’s marriage registry for our data analysis. None Hindu sounding first names (like Fatima Patel or Anthony Reddy) were removed. Though individual’s religious preferences were not verified, the consistency of results across these common family names, gives validity to our conclusions. The results clearly show that at least a third of these young Dharmics have selected an Abrahamic partner as their life mate. The outcome was similar for male and female in subgroups analysis.

Historically in India, interfaith marriages among Hindus, Jains and Sikhs are quite common, but not with Muslims or Christians because there are fundamental differences between the beliefs and practices of the two major groups of religions — the Dharmic and the Abrahamic. Now in America, these groups are assimilating for marriage at large. In reality, a marriage is not only a marriage of two individuals; but to some extent, it is also a marriage of two extended families. Many a time major difficulties may arise when subtle pressure is applied by the extended family for religious conversion before a church wedding or Islamic Nikaah takes place. The challenges may get harder as years go by, especially when time comes to decide the religious fate of the children from the marriage. For example, the Islamic religion requires that children of mixed marriages must be raised in the Islamic faith. The Catholic Church strongly advocates that the Catholic parent should do everything possible to insure that a child is baptized and raised as a Catholic. It remains to be seen how followers of Dharmic and Abrahamic faiths will manage their fundamental religious differences in these new interfaith marriages.

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Also read if in relations with a Christian: Hindu-Christian Marriage, Will Gandhi go to Hell since he was not Baptized?, Bible on Hindus?, Idol-Worshippers, I am a Christian mother, I converted without knowledge of my family, I am Christian getting married to a Hindu, Do all Christians go to Heaven?, Ignorent Molly trying to convert a Krishna believer to Christianity ..a video, Namastey London movie…intolerant Christians ..a video, All religions are not same, A Hindu America?, Why I am a Hindu?, A fundamentalist Christian, Why I came back to Hinduism?, Dharma is not the same as religion, Text book on How to convert Hindu Students to Christianity,

Also read if in relationship with a Muslim: Islamic Women Today, Muta, HRS, wife-beating, Muhammad, Hadith, Koran, Inter-race marriages, Hindu-Muslim marriages, Hindu girl/boy, Muslim girl/boy, Christian-Muslim marriages,


View videos: Interfaith Marriage with Equality, All you want to know about the Hindu-Muslim Marriage, Sharia: Hindu-Muslim Marriages,
Also read: Hindu-Muslim marriages, Hindu-Muslim lovers’ experiences, Koran on Hindus?, Love-Jihad, Don’t fake-convert, Polygamy and talaak, Akansha unwillingly converted to Nusrat, Hindu girl-Muslim boy, Idols, pluralism, SRK-can you do it?, Zakir Naik, Christian-Hindu marriages, Sikh-Muslim marriages, Malaysia in love, Marriage laws.

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21 Responses to “38% of Hindus Marry Outside Dharmic Faiths in America”

  1. Leaf says:

    Sri,

    Your comment “They can have their own way, who have become US citizens.” doesn’t look right to me. You have all right to express your opinion.

    I think religion and faith is beyond boundaries. May be people in different geography make their own adjustment so that they can keep the family still follow the same faith.

    Leaf

  2. Leaf says:

    Amrita,

    Good to know this. I do know a couple who have gone through interfaith marriage. They are doing great with life. They are good and decided not to grow the family. So no kids, no issue with the family. They respect each others faith, they do not force each other for any religious items. They have also hit issues like attending religious lunches and dinners they have maintained the relationship with both religious friends. These do not show up in the meetings we have with them.
    If anyone have intention of growing family, will have huge decision to make. We all are PATERNAL family. The faith of the father prevail. Inside or outside the religion.

    I hope there will be some solution for the interfaith married couples with respect to what they want their children to follow and register in the world, starting from the name in the birth certificate to the name you want to call and how friends will call.

    I always thought there are no fault or problem with the interfaith marriage. But when it comes to family, it is hard. Someone should always extend their tolerance for other person. Whether they out-right state it or not, there is some amount of discomfort in moving totally from one belief to other that too when the other belief states you just can’t keep the faith you had before.

    I hope every interfaith marriage stays as happy and comfortable as yours and my friends.

    Wish you all the best and please share the secret of your happy life. May be we can learn and incorporate them in someway into our lives.

    Leaf

  3. Sri says:

    I like to state some thing here to Kirti Das, who can not differentiate between Saudi spending billions of dollars in conversion activities like dawa and Hollywood trying to advertise their films in others countries.

    If there is one thing, Hollywood did damage to every society including American society, I think this is the worst sufferer.

    May be should some one tell him/her that Christians or Hindus can never propagate in Islamic countries but Muslims do this in all countries.

  4. Sri says:

    I think we can not talk about what is happening in US? It is not good or moral or ethical.

    They can have their own way, who have become US citizens.

    Amrita can have her own way who ever she is. She can stop bullshitting about Islam and its peaceful nature.

    Now this research is very confusing at the best.

    If you look gender wise too, I am not sure why it is not published here, the percentages are same. I read this from pew research.

    The trouble is marrying a Muslim; whether he is a Christian or Jew or Hindu.

    Whatever you are, gender wise, you have to convert to Islam. Pew did not do this analysis, it just took info. from marriage registrar; but not followed up analysis. If you do this, you will find that, it is likely that, Non Muslim might have converted to Islam irrespective of gender.

    More than anything, according to Islamic law, a Muslim man can marry a Non Muslim woman; bur a Muslim women can never marry a Non Muslim man. He has to convert first or later, if he wants go through the marriage. Koran itself proposes this set up.

    The same case with conversions too; Non Muslim can convert to Islam; but a Muslim can never convert to any other religion. If a Muslim coverts to other religions he must be killed by Muslims, Islamic law states this.

    In essence Islam is a totalitarian belief system; the privileges it seeks from others will not be given in reciprocity. This is the hall mark of Islam. This is what, along with others, makes it a fascist.

    So some Hindu women like Amrita, who are married a Muslim guy, can wonderfully stop the bullshit of preaching of non existential Islamic tolerance towards others.

    Islamic system is a parasite; it just seeks complete destruction of other societies and cultures in the name of religious freedom, when they are in minority.

    This is the realistic world. Stop believing in the world of fantasy like creations of Bollywood or what goes in Bollywood, which is not very different from Muslim mafia.

    Hindu women, please take your stories some where else; for me you are just more than dumb. But you have your freedom and can do what you want. No one can deny this.

    But please, do not cry later.

    If some one wants hear some stories, read from below link:

    http://www.asiansinmedia.org/forum/general/topic.php/13540/index.html

  5. • 50% of Asian-American men and 55% of Asian-American women between the ages of 25 and 34 years of age married non-Asians.*
    • 54% Asian-American men and 66% of Asian-American women under 25 years of age married non-Asians.*
    • Hindu-Americans marrying outside their group appears to be the rule, not an exception.

    * Source: Samuel Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, New York: Simon & Schuster 2004.
    http://samprajna.org/sites/default/files/Multiculturalism%20and%20Marriage%20-%20HMEC%202009%20presentation.pdf

  6. Judging by the comments, I would say the actual, underlying issue is not marriage at all but religion. People feel passionately about their faiths–inherited or adopted–and they believe that is more important than love. And if you think about it, love between a man and a woman itself is a pretty exclusive thing. Generally, if you love some man or woman you don’t love another man or woman. Thus other forms of concern are in some ways more magnanimous, and the concerns connected with religion are one of them.

    So, the issue as I see it is basically this: where do you get your moral values from? If husband and wife both tend to be nominally religious (meaning pretty much religious in name only), then a so-called “interfaith” marriage is not really such an interfaith marriage as it is a marriage between two secular people; secularism is their true faith. Thus secularists from different communities tend to stay together in well-adjusted marriages without any felt need to convert to the other spouses’s faith. But when one of the spouses are devout (rarely are both committed to their faiths at the start of the marriage), usually he or she drags the other into the faith of the more devout. Depending on which religion you think is the good religion, that will either be a good thing or a bad thing.

    Thus the real issue isn’t marriage at all, though the subject of marriage may in some cases be a good reason to introduce the topic of faith. The real issue is which faith is the best one, and, since marriage is one of the few universal human institutions, being in every human society almost without exception, marriage is not really the issue here.

    Also, if anyone is interested, here is the text and power point presentation from my speech at last year’s Hindu Mandir Executives Conference (2009): http://samprajna.org/taxonomy/term/17 (It’s on the top of the page.)

  7. diva says:

    This is really a very cruical topic ..I am a Hindu and my ex boyfriend Christian. We were madly in love & wanted to get married but he said he can marry only if I am able to accept his Christian faith and before marriage I will have to be baptised. I loved him truly and so I studied about it a lot .. prayed a lot .. tried my level best and then said that I will marry and accept his faith but with consent of my parents as running and getting married is against my principles of life. So I spoke at my home and my parents also did not agree for simple reason that if he loves you truly then why he is asking you to change what you are as a person ..He always asked me to talk to parents or go agaisnt and get married. I was confused so much wat to do ..as I loved him so much … however things didn’t work out… My love was as stake for Faith !!!!! and finally it didn’t happen and now he is engaged to a Christian girl
    :((((((((((

    What is all this …I am so messed up now .. what is above Love , I still cant figure out ..why was it necessary to convert or accept any other faith and become Christian!!! Does god accepts this that you fall in love and later don’t agree to marry if the girl doesnt change !!

    This is just not justified.

    Reply at http://www.interfaithshaadi.org/blog/?p=346

  8. Premkumar says:

    Mr.Scott, What your grandparent said is very right. Which other religion is so liberal like Hinduism? We have more than a million gods to choose. There is no Satan or Fatwa by which anyone can frighten you. None can force you to go to temple for prayers. No need to send your kids anywhere by force to learn about religion. Choice to move to any religion as and when you like. See everything in the nature as god. And many more….but none to order you regarding any religious matter but for you to decide what is right or wrong for you and live accordingly.

  9. DEENBANDHU CHANDORA says:

    Excellent research Article. If it is possible to know what happends to the fathers and mothers of the girls after their daughter married to muslim boys and converted to Islam 1. Before marriage, 2. After marriage,3. after children were born.

    Is it possible that these parents can some how come forward and speak to society about 1. What went wrong, 2. what could have been done, 3. what can be done to prevent future generations from marrying to 1. Abrhamic religions 2. and then converting to Abrahmic faiths? This is just like rape victim to come forward and testifying agianst the perpitrator of crime. This can be a strong educational and social PREVENTIVE/ CURATIVE service to greater Hindu society.

    How about bringing those Muslim boys to convert to Hidnus as done by many of Arya Samaj followers successfully even their children and grand children are of Arya Samaj Vedic Dharm followers and some of rare cases these girls became ardent Arya Samaj Pracharks. Instead being converted to Abrahamic/Islam these husbans/boys be brought in Hindu Dharmic fold.

    One argument if Muslim then he is going to get married three more before dumping her? Being Hindu Dharmic Tradition as an Insurance policy of one wife and happy marriage life.

    What happened to the children of interfath marriages all were lost to Abrahimic marriages?

  10. Hinduism is a cool religion that is also oriented towards peace and prosperity.`;*

  11. Madiha says:

    First of all non muslims women must know one thing that,Muslims are allowed to marry 4 woman and to have sex with slave girls,marriage to a muslim is a one way street,in islam apostasy means death,a muslim man can easily divorce a woman by simply saying 3 times talaq at the same time muslim woman doesnt have right to divorce,custody of children also goes to man in islam.In islam muslims men are allowed to beat women.

    Also now a days muslims target non muslims girls especially for conversion and to increase their population.
    Majority of muslims women after divorce end up in brothel.

  12. Daya says:

    Haha, Amrita you sound very defensive. From their comment, I’m pretty sure
    “student” didn’t wish any harm upon your children. And, by the way,
    if you consider that bashing, you need to grow tougher skin.
    You have a right to your liberal ideals, but it is important to understand
    that the people of other religions are not so welcoming of cultural blending.
    If you’ve payed any attention to the content of this website, you should know that
    in Christian and Muslim marriages, the groom or bride that doesn’t follow their
    religion must convert. Keep that in mind when you start moping online about our
    “narrow-minded” views.

  13. Amrita says:

    For your information like I stated I am not Hindu. Do I as an individual have anything to do with Hinduism dying as a faith? I am not here trying to say go and marry out of religion all I’m trying to say is that it’s wrong to assume that anyone who does is a shame on their culture. I always thought that above all God was love, and in my own belief I only believe in one God and that God is everyones, not just the God of a select few. Why are you so concerned about my children? My husband and I are happy raising them, and contrary to your narrow-minded beliefs we do speak the same language and are from the same area back home. My family accepted my husband and vice versa because they knew him from the time we were young, and know he is hardworking and a kind individual. Why do you only look at a person’s faith and nothing else? I did not hide anything from my family and neither did he, nor did we get married against anyone’s wishes. I don’t think anyone has any right to wish ill upon my children or say that they will grow up confused because they are not. They know their culture, we celebrate holidays, they know their language, and I don’t need to justify that my children are happy to anyone. I’m sorry if Hinduism is in your eyes a dying religion “Student” but I am not Hindu so I’m afraid bashing me will not help you.

    And also, i was simply speaking up against Roy’s interpretations above and against slandering other’s faiths, and before anyone starts on me being Christian or Muslim, I am not that either. It doesn’t matter what faith you belong to, I’m simply saying that we should refrain from saying ill about anothers. I apologize if I have offended any Hindus on here that was not my intention.

  14. Student says:

    To Amrita,

    With a name like Amrita, it seems to me that you’re family was originally Hindu. It is obvious that they failed in teaching you about your own religion and culture. Quite a hypocrisy to preach to others about their foolishness for the appeasement of Muslims and Christians. Did you know that Hinduism is a dying faith? Its because of people like you. Good luck to your children, may OUR HINDU GOD be with them.

  15. Kaushik says:

    I would like to hear more from Amrita. I am curious. What about your children’s faith?
    Are you making sure you are teaching your culture and history?
    Are you teaching your language? If you are considering all these traps then what do you consider society and culture or heritage?
    Do you think that seed of Mango fallen in to Pine Jungle should grow and become pine and lose it’s identity? Why do you think we are here only pro Hindu? Just keep in mind that you have no freedom anywhere else.
    Wish you and your family good luck and especially your ancestors and children.

  16. Amrita says:

    To Roy’s comment above, that is incorrect the quotations you are giving.
    Guru Nanak did not say that and Islam and HInduism religions do heavily influence Sikhism, so him saying anything against any religious icon is wrong and was never done so. I think you should refrain from writing incorrect things if you do not have any proof.

    I’m reading some of the comments above and none of them have been written with much sense. Interfaith marriages have been happening since the times
    of the Mughal empire, it’s not something new, but people nowadays have 2 sides.. either they are accepting or very radical and intolerant.

    Whether you like it or not, the world is changing and the youth is taking steps to wipe out the barriers that communities have built.
    I’m not saying convert and disregard your culture and traditions, but to say that whoever falls in love with someone from a different faith is stupid and doesn’t know about their culture is ignorance. I don’t think it works that way, love is different.

    A lot of your views are biased and all just pro-Hindu, I’m not Hindu or Muslim but I think that everyone loves their own culture and religion but that doesn’t mean you should slander others. My husband and I are from different religions and we are very happy. I love him a lot and our families support us and we are both learned in our own cultures and traditions. Neither one of us converted into the others faith and we don’t fall into the traps of society and what people think. No one has ever won the world and they never will.

  17. Roy says:

    lolz their parents have not taught them about their religion..they hardly know anything about their faith…if knows then that too watching some mythological serials on television (thanks to the directors)….but personal experience they are big Zero..they may be visits temple but they don’t know the tradition or cultural of their faith and how to follow it….

    http://krishnauniverse.com/
    http://www.hindunet.org/
    http://hinduism.about.com/

    btw about Christians…its not any religion. Jesus never started Christianity..after his death some400/500 yrs Christanity was started..BY JEWS to stop Islam barbaric conversion !
    Btw, hope this much also people know when asked to Jesus what is real power/almighty, oh Jesus did you seen it and how does its looks like

    Jesus replies actually that almighty has no perfect shape or color or form, but still he lives in one form mostly…..and when asked how does its looks like then…Jesus replied he is mostly know for his 3 things (about his form):

    -He have blueish skin
    -With a peacock feather upon His head, and
    -he makes everyone to love by his flute.

    Its written in the Bible which many Christian priest hide it.

    So answer is front of us who is the almighty and who ctrl everything….

    hare krishna hare rama 🙂
    http://www.krishna.com/en/node/1676

    Note all these man made religion like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism plus Sikhism bros are temporary religion…they will be out from this world soon…
    there wont be left a single stone of mecca, the reality of pope will be exposed and then the fall of roman religion
    -Prophet Nostradamus

    Na rahe ga issa an rahega mohammad (there is no followers of Christianity and Muslim will be left in this world)
    -Gurur Nanak Devji

    • Miss says:

      Hello,

      I am a Hindu myself. But I would like to say after reading your article that a learned Hindu and Educated person shouldnt show disrespect towards the Holy Books and characters of other religions.Instead write and talk about the beauty of the oldest religion which actually says about the oneness of God Almighty. Many Many know only the idolatory part of Hinduism and not the stories, knowledge and symbol and significance.

  18. Satya Nemana says:

    I am pretty sure that the younger generations are becoming innocent victims, falling into some kind of traps (not always love). It is alarming to note in this article that – “Our independent survey shows that 38% of marriage of young Hindus, Jains and Sikhs are to people of Abrahamic faiths (Christians, Jews and Muslims)…picked from the Macy’s marriage registry for our data analysis”. May God save us.

    • Miss says:

      Yes, I agree. May God save us. Hope and wish Hindus develop strong faith in their religion and follow the true Hindu dharma and practise wherever they are. Parents must instill the teachings and rules that are mentioned in our holiest books and scriptures. The right practise of faith from early age makes an individual strong enough in faith and believer in Almighty. Hindus dont take their religion seriously as the followers of other religions do. People of other faithslove their religion so much so that they manage to somehow convert their life partners before marriage as their religions says marrying outside it is a sin.

  19. Dilip Mehta says:

    Marraige to Muslims done by Hindu girls. Mostly Hindus girls marry to Muslims boys, not other way round. Similarly Hindu girls marry to Christians also. After marraige most girls are converted to Islam or Christianity. Very few Hindu boys marry to nonHindu girls.

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