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marrying outside your own religion

(23 Posts)
rahilla Mon 20-Dec-04 14:24:51

Hello i am interested in hearing from mums who have married outside their own faith and which religion they have decided to bring up their children.

motherinfestivemood Mon 20-Dec-04 14:54:51

My DP's mother did: she is a Christian, her husband was a Muslim. As far as I've ever been able to work out, the kids were brought up with a feeling for both religions - one of DP's brothers goes to prayers and I think these are Muslim prayers but I'm not absolutely sure.

incywincy Mon 20-Dec-04 15:00:11

hi, i am muslim, my dh's family is church of england, mil is a reader in the church but dh is not religious at all. We discussed religion before we got married and agreed that any children would be brought up muslim but also taught about other religions. Now have a ds 2.5 years and a bump.

serenity Mon 20-Dec-04 15:07:51

I was bought up C of E although I'm more pagany/agnosticy/Stephan King, DH is Greek Orthodox culturally, but an atheist in RL. The kids have been christened G O and go to a G O primary school, this is DHs wish which I've gone along with as I can see that it is an important part of their Cypriot identity.

They'll draw their own conclusions about life and religion when they are old enough - I did. I think you have to learn about something though, before you can draw any conclusions as to how much a part of your life it is going to be.

pedilia Mon 20-Dec-04 19:34:23

I am a christian and dh is hindu, we agreed that children will be taught about both religions and makr there own choices. Having said that I am taking both boys to church on Christmas Eve

cas73 Mon 20-Dec-04 20:00:06

I am Greek Orthodox, and dh was Cof E when we met (although not christened). Since then he became GO and both dd's are christened GO. To be honest though, neither of us is very relegious, and this was only because of family and because GO is not as relaxed as CofE (eg they HAVE to be christened...)

cas73 Mon 20-Dec-04 20:01:04

Serenity, you haven't changed your name, have you?

snowdonim Mon 20-Dec-04 20:24:09

My nominally CofE ds1 is married to a Jewish girl. If they have children they will be raised as Jewish (dil is hoping to train as a rabbi!) but will learn about ds's religion, too.

Ds2 has a Muslim girlfriend. If they decide to marry and have a family I imagine the children will be brought up as Muslim.

serenity Mon 20-Dec-04 20:46:43

Cas73 - yep, decided to become a bit more anonymous

kale kristoyenna!

yingers74 Sun 02-Jan-05 14:29:30

hello all,

am buddhist and dh jewish although to be honest neither of us are particularly religious, so far dd takes part in any festivals going at both sets of grandparents, nursery etc.

Arabica Sun 02-Jan-05 21:50:35

Hi, I am a secular Jew and my Dh is an atheist from a nominally Christian background. We're teaching him about Jewish, Christian and other community religious traditions and hoping he will make his own mind up about what, if anything, he believes in.

KateandtheElves Sun 02-Jan-05 21:57:16

I'm an aetheist. My husband was a Roman Catholic. The kids were both baptised Catholic, but if they want to pursue their faith any further it will be their decision when they're much older. (I am not going to drive them around to religion classes, etc.)

FeastofStevenmom Sun 02-Jan-05 21:59:41

the same as Arabica in just about every detail!

Twiglett Sun 02-Jan-05 22:03:35

like arabica .. but from an orthodox background and DH is Irish Catholic

Gwenick Sun 02-Jan-05 22:03:46

not me personally but my cousin, a secular Baptist, married a semi practising Jew. They're bringing up their daughter as a Jew.

More importantly though - she comes from a strong Chelsea background - and he's converted her to Arsenal!!

Arabica Mon 03-Jan-05 20:20:45

My dad tried to instil religious values, but I'm afraid the only faith we shared was in the glory of Leeds Utd (glad he's not around to see how we have slumped)

keren143 Sat 22-Jan-05 01:05:47


This is kind of confusing but I saw this thread and it's very relevant to the thoughts I have been having. I am Jewish, my parents are from Israel and I even speak Hebrew. Although while growing up in the U.S., I was active in the Jewish community, I never really got too much out of it spiritually, and consider myself an atheist.

So, I married a very Catholic Brit and moved over here. We have been taking marriage classes to be married "properly" in his church. Plus, we are taking classes to have our 6 month old son baptised. All of this christian stuff is making me feel like a traitor to my religion, but I just want to make my husband happy. He is the one with the faith, so I want to support it.

But then I think that if I knew jewish people here it would be different, because I feel like community is what I really get out of religion. but the only jews I see around are orthodox and thats a bit too extreme for me.
what should i do??????

p.s. we did make an agreement that my husband could take our children to church (but NOT force them) and I could celebrate jewish holidays with them

JonahB Tue 25-Jan-05 12:54:36

Don't know if this is any help to you, but there are a lot of reform and liberal communities across the UK, so, depending on where you live, that is a potential for you. I have only ever been to one liberal service but it was very accepting of people of mixed faiths, which means that if he was interested, you could also bring your DH along.

PrettyCandles Tue 25-Jan-05 13:35:35

There are several mixed Jewish/Christian (or simply non-Jewish) Mumsnetter families - I'm the Jewish member of one of them. Some of us recently met up to eat together and go watch the public menorah being lit during Channukah. I found it very interesting that when we drifted into groups to chat, we didn't gravitate towrds our co-religionists, but instead all the men were in one group and all the women in another.

Anyway, that's a bit off the point of your post. I suggest that you get in touch with Rabbi Jonathan Romain of the Maidenhead Reform Synagogue
01628 671058. He runs an annual seminar for mixed couples, one of which we attneded. His co-speakers included a Catholic nun.

I do so very much understand what you say about community. One of the reasons that we are interested in moving is to be part of a non-Orthodox Jewish community - there's a very nice community growing around here, but the rabbi is a Lubavitcher (very nice, but not quite comfortable for dh ).

Karensara Wed 26-Jan-05 14:46:26

Keren 143 - I was brought up in the Jewish faith, mostly the cultural/social side rather than the religous side although we did go to shul on the "high" holidays and our mother did take us to cheder. Although as I got older my religousness wained and I too considered myself an atheist. My husband is Catholic and his family are/were more 'religious' than my family and it was important for him that our children should be brought up in the Christian faith (not necessarily Catholic). However, I must say that my parents are now both dead and when we got married (my mum was alive and well then) I just couldn't do it to her to get married in a church so we married in a registry office instead. My husband's family were as happy as they could be with this taking all things into consideration. I didn't get my son circumscised and, after my mother died a few years ago I had "lessons" from the Vicar, and I, my son and daughter were babtised in to the Christian faith. I did feel like I was a traitor, betraying my background and my dead parents who did everything to keep us Jewish in the non-Jewish area we lived in. However, something inside me said that it was the right thing to do. My sister is very orthodox and disapproving of my situation but we are friends and everything is OK. Funnily enough, I now live in a very Jewish area (NW London/Herts) and my children go to the local state school which is at least half Jewish! And most of our friends are Jewish purely because of our location. I'm genetically programmed to cook chicken on Fridays and we sometimes go to my sister on Seder night, Hannukah, etc.. so there is still a "Jewishness" about me that will always stay and my children will grow up to know about it too. As far as "community" goes I do so understand what you mean about the community side of the Jewish faith. We go to Church once a month (family service - can't face it every week!), and although we "do our bit" (hold a stall at the Christmas Fair, etc..) our community didn't really start there. In all honesty, our friends, the people we ask to babysit, go out with, have dinner with, even go on holiday with, etc.. are the people in the locality, either neighbours, or people whom I met at toddler groups, nursery, work and now, school. As my parents are no longer around and my husband's parents are getting a bit "past it" these people are our "community". We have made some very close friends and this is worth more than anything for me. I just wanted to let you know that I was/am in the same situation and I'd be more than happy to talk to you if you like.

keren143 Fri 28-Jan-05 23:23:16

thank you so much for the helpful replies! It's nice to know there are others in a similar position. I really do want to meet other jews, maybe I will find a reform shul to go to tomorrow morning...just don't want to go too far (i'm in islington)
also, that seminar sounds really interesting, I wonder if I could convince dh to go.

Last night at our marriage course (we are doing it for the catholic wedding) the priest mentioned that it was holocaust memorial day and I felt really bad that I hadn't known.

I just had an idea!!! I would love to organize a Mumsnet Purim Party for for next month (it's Friday, march 25, just checked) if anyone was up for it. Wouldn't have to be Friday, just whenever people could make it.

joash Fri 28-Jan-05 23:30:07

I class myself as pagan, DH is christian, DD1 is agnostic, DD2 is an athiest and DS switches from christianity to nothing, according to his mood.
We've been married for 21 years this year (together for 24) so it can and does work. I let my children know about whatever religion they were interested in and never discouraged them in any way. I do feel that religion is a choice and so let them settle into whatever their personal beliefs are. I have a happy family - we respect each others beliefs and wouldn't dream of putting anyone down for theirs.

keren143 Sat 05-Feb-05 16:51:29

just to update you all, I found a liberal synagogue in St.John's wood, and on their website it said that they had a mum and baby group. When I went the lady in the nursery told me that it had been cancelled, so I volunteered to take over it!!! So, in a few weeks I will (it has to be discussed by the temple comittee of course) start leading the group on Fridays! I'm really excited - if anyone is interested, I will post details when I have them

thanks again for everyone's help and support

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