"My Christian Girlfriend Doesn't Want to Follow My Hindu Faith"

I am faced with a dilemma and was hoping if you could offer me some advice and solace. I am a Hindu and have received a proposal from a Christian girl who converted from Hinduism 3 years ago.

Whilst my parents expect her to follow my religion after marriage; I am of the view that she can follow her religion but she has to partake in all my Hindu religious activities; and that we have to have a Hindu marriage. I also respect Christianity and she can go to church etc. with myself accompanying her whenever possible.

She has come back to me saying that all the above will be a sin in Christianity and that she will be punished if she participates in my activities.

I have been advised by my Hindu priest to participate in her activities where possible. I respect her choice of religion coz for me there is only one god; it's just that we all have our own ways of faith.

I also realise that there are other factors like children to be considered here.

I like this girl and will find your advice invaluable.

It would also help if you could provide me the details of people who have been in a similar situation. And at the same time it would also help if you could look into the prospects of taking out a "best practices" manual for lets say Hindu/Christian; Christian/Muslim marriages etc which would provide some sort of a guideline.

This response by Michael Gleghorn, Founder of Probe Ministries www.probe.org is used with permission.

I encourage you to read the article "Do All Roads Lead to God? The Christian Attitude Toward Non-Christian Religions" which can be found at  http://www.probe.org/content/view/792/0/. I think it will help you better understand your Christian girlfriend's perspective on participating in your Hindu religious activities.

In the Bible, the second book is called Exodus. In Exodus 20:1-6 the Lord gives His people the first two of the Ten Commandments. These are:

1. To have (or worship) no other gods except the Lord, and

2. Not to make, or worship, any idols or images of anything in all creation. As you can probably see, these first two commandments would make it very difficult for your Christian friend to be faithful to her own religious convictions AND participate in Hindu religious activities.

Christians believe that Jesus is the only way to God. In fact, this is what Jesus Himself claimed in John 14:6. Jesus demands our exclusive devotion and allegiance. We are not allowed to worship anyone else but the one true God of the Bible.

Although I cannot tell you what to do about marriage, I do know that (statistically speaking) interfaith marriages are much more difficult and face many more problems than do marriages in which both partners have shared religious beliefs. I would encourage both of you to seriously consider these difficulties BEFORE you get married. For example, in what religious tradition will your children be raised? What will they be taught about God, what happens after death, etc.?

Finally, if you're interested in learning what the Bible says about how a person can have a personal relationship with God, please visit the following web page: http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=276 . This website also has the entire Bible available for you to read and study if you like.

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Comments from South Asian Connection Website Submissions

Comment #1 (Posted by Job Anbalagan, Glory of His Cross Prophetic Ministries)

I address this message to the author, a Hindu, who wanted to marry a Christian girl. It is not the mere religion that matters here but the faith that matters very much here. A girl who is born of the Spirit of God through the Blood of Jesus Christ is a new creature. She has to follow her Master, Jesus Christ, and to be His disciple. She will become one flesh with the man whom she will marry. After marriage, she has to lead a life pleasing to her Master only. Though faith is personal to her, yet she cannot live with a man who is not born again in the Spirit of God. I am not asking this man to marry this Christian girl even he takes a decision to change his religion. I am only asking this Christian girl not to be yoked with unbelievers i.e. who are not born again in the Spirit of God.

Comment #2 (Posted by Byrav)

Hi to my Proud Hindu friend, I appreciate your love for your girl friend and your openess towards her faith and religion and may be you are expecting the same from Her. Nothing wrong absolutely. Let us not make this issue very secular.But why do you think she is so adament about her faith? A serious question to ponder about. Since I do not know her I assume that her reasons for not practsing Hindu rituals may be because of her true love and devotion for Jesus. The Bible teaches that there is only one God.Infact you believe in the same thing.But there is a difference of opinion about who is that God among you both. Jesus came to this world to show His love for us and to pay for our sins on the cross. He loved us so much that He did not want to punish us for our sins but give us Moksha inspite of the fact that we deserve it very much, and therefore He had to pay for it. Isnt that a wonderful and amazing love. Anyone who falls in love with Jesus would find this great joy and peace and they cannot compromise for anything. Prabably your girlfriend loves you more, but not more than Jesus. I challenge you, even if you fall in love with Jesus, your first love will be Jesus. May I encourage you to talk to your girlfriend about Her faith and the reason for her love for Jesus. I wholly wish that you find this great love of Jesus which gives you eternal life and also may this Love of God bind you with her as you desire.

Comment #3 (Posted by an unknown user)

I read your Letter and the response Let me ask you one question Dose she loves you or it is just a one side If she loves and wants to get married to you, then religion should not be a issue I am not a fanatic but why do Hindus alone think of accepting another god and why not others If you feel she is worth giving up your religion then go ahead, let me just remind you that she does not think your are worth changing the religion so why this sacrifice I don’t see any point If god is so important to girl who has take up for the past 3 years then it should be more to you ‘cause your born into a greatest religion on the face of earth and will ever be

Comment #4 (Posted by abishek)

Hi, few suggestions before you make your decision. Think on your own a) how do you want to bring up your child 1. Hindu 2. Christian 3. does not matter b) if you buy a new car or build a new house, do you want to offer a prayer at a) temple b) church c) does not matter c) if you are in deep troubleyou want to hear consoling words and songs from a) hindu base b) christian base c) does not matter d) If your wife says I can not participate in any of your family funerals and I can not deliver any of my duties as part of your family due to my faith then it is a) Not ok b) ok if your answer is b or c please proceed with your christian girl. Good Luck. Abishek For all the questions if your answer is b or c then proceed to the next:

Comment #5 (Posted by Ameya)

Hi, I was quite imprssed by your love for your soulmate and your openness for her to follow her religion. This is most civilised and Hindu way.Being an Hindu I am proud of my religion; but at the same time, I am very much receiptive to respect the other religions. And thats quite a unique thing about Hinduisam. No doubt some of the greatest religions Buddhism and Jain originated from India. If you love her, dont force her to follow all the Hindu traditions, try to convince your parents. It is more likely that she will start respecting and participating in holy activities,(as you do with her- like going to Church and all)by herself. Let her give some time to settle, and let not be forceful. After all, You will be lucky, Because you will receive love and care from Hindu Gods as well as Lord Jesus.

Comment #6 (Posted by SNEHA)

Don't participate in her activited if she doesn't participate in yours. Trust me, she might end up pushing you over. And you might not be able to be hindu or anything You can still marry her I think. But if she isn't willing to comprimise to come to your religous activites you don't have to go to church with her Plus if she's that religous. Then the people in her church will probably be too. and you might be harassed.

Comment #7 (Posted by Jay)

It was lovely to read of a Hindu concerned about his faith. Many Hindus these days act without regard to their faith. My question to you is that do u feel your views and her views are irreconcilable? If so you should be careful. In terms of children do u want them to be raised Xtian or Hindu? I think the two religions are not compatible as Hinduism is broad and emcompassing whereas Xtianity can be intolerant

Comment #8 (Posted by vin)

Hi Friend, We r in the same page. But in my case, She is kerala Christian. I am not believe/depend on the religions. So anyone can please tell me how to do the register marriage? And immediate steps that i have to do. Regards, Vino

Comment #9 (Posted by Nick)

I am a Christian and have stumbled upon this post via Google... I just figure I'd pose some provocative questions because this seems to be a pretty confusing topic. What does the Hindu faith say about interfaith marriage? What does the Christian faith say about interfaith marriages? If faith is a question in your marriage, what does your faith say about your marriage? These are very serious questions being that mariage is a religious ceremony. If you are willing to put your marriage above your faith, then that poses some serious issues being that marriage is a bond under God.

Comment #10 (Posted by Laura Kafle)

As a woman raised christian and married to a Hindu man, the challenges go beyond choice of faith and extend into culture, and pre-conceived expectations about marriage in general. Communication is key! There are several issues that need to be discussed before you enter into this life commitment. If your love is strong and you are not afraid of the non-traditional, I wish you luck.

Comment #11 (Posted by Santosh)

"Jesus is the ONLY way to God" Stick with Hinduism, which preaches true humanity. "One God, different paths"

Comment #12 (Posted by saved by grace)

The unfortunate thing in this situation is that the "Christian girl", who seems some what loyal to her faith, is actually not pursuing the creator in which she claims to believe in at all. "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church" Eph. 5:25. For me Christ continues to passionatley pursue me, and continues to. So how could I ever conceive of loving a wife the correct way unless I understood Christs love? The Hindu guy can't ever love the wife the way that Christ intends him to, nor can the wife have any impact on His kingdom, if her/his own house is divided? It would be the extreme exception to the rule if this marriage could ever be accepted. However, I can promise our Hindu question guy, if you examine the history of the bible and love your future spouse enough to do so, you will see not only the historical authenticity of the bible, but God will continue to show you truth through His word, which will ultimately bring you the peace that it seems like you are looking for.

Comment #13 (Posted by Proud Hindu Woman)

I'm also in the same predicament, my friend - My Christian boyfriend and I are madly in love but he has been advised by his church leaders to not marry me as I am 'not saved'. My advice? Follow your Hindu dharma! I commend you for being as open, respectful and supporting as you have been... but I believe the Christian ppl who view God in this way suffer from a kind of spiritual blindness - how can they not see God as virtue in another human being and recognize Him in all (Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.)? If your girlfriend cannot see this Truth then your family life and children may also suffer from this blindness. You are blessed to follow the Hindu way of life, my friend. May God continue to bless and guide you and yours!

Comment #14 (Posted by Charles Sundram Manickam)

My dear Hindu sister, Y its impossible to meddle spiritiual matters and get complicated unless u have to understand what Hinduism teaches and that of Christianity.

1. Remember no religion can save a person including Christianity. Jesus never founded any religion but He told his followers that He is the way to God, not by our actions. He taught us to look God in God's way not in our ways. His ways are higher than us and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He has got plans, purpose and reason for us to live on this planet earth. We cannot win God's favour by our actions, givings and so forth. Jesus said, know the truth and the TRUTH will set us free.

That's the reason: anybody, anywhere, any time,any person of any religion can call upon his name, and can seek his help. He told all who believe him to his disciples, not to be only believers. If any mess in this world, we can't blame HIM becos, we are the managers of the world. He loves us that much that He allowed to be mercilessly tortured and killed. (watch: Passion Of Christ). According to Prophecies in the scriptures(true prophets must prophecy the truth)all these must be fulfilled. He was to become born as a man (Christmas), die (Easter) to be our atonement. In the World v have standards and the man made standards we have to comply).

For our every genuine actions, our standards are match-less to his standards. We cannot measure our goodness in His standards. Take any persons ever lived, they had their limits and equally like any ordinary human beings. Take it in: marriage, anger, food, riches... there were limited.It makes no differences to any of us in this world. For e.g. take a sage or holy person, ask him a repeated question for a certain number of times, finally he may show his temper! Take a modern day Bagawan, call him in a cell phone, the first thing he will ask who is on the line? Y didnt he call by your name b4,But he instead asking your name and details.

But the differebce between Christ and any human beings is: He is God, He is Omnipotent, Omnipresence,Omniscience,etc etc. He had to die because not that he cannot defend himself, but because he loves you and me. Remember how horrible we are? We even cant control our evil mind, temper, jealousy, wickedness,lust for wealth,beauty,fame, etc etc... Yet he kept quiet till he was crufied, Y his love 4 us is so great!!

If opportunity exists, read Mr.Rabrinnath's. The death of a Guru( former hindu guru from Carribean Islands. Sadhu Sunder Singh's (a Punjabi Hindu)story. Hear Sadhu Chellapa's Convertion Testimoney and his research papers/talks on Hindu vedas,Sastrams,Karmas Prof. Dr. Deivanayagam' The Gold Medalist & Dr DeivaKala Deivanayagam's Hinduism /Vedas/ThiruKoral in the Bible, Ganesha Bramar story, Vethanayaga Sasthiriar's Thanjavoors royal court Royal singers Testimonies. Jesus Calls ministry Mr. Dhinakaran, Mohan C lazarus (former Thinavelli Hindu)ministries, All these people were very staunch Hindus and following Hindu Tharmas.
What and why are they Christians today? For your information, Christians brought so much developments to humanity, and most wealthy developed people are the Christians and still give needy helping hands in any case of any emergencies in any part of the world.The Tsunami, earth Quake in AP,Gujarat. Why? not for karma, but for the love Jesus have given in our hearts.Not to convert anyone by this actions. Compare what amount of hatred the RSS do? killing of the Australian man & son serving in the Leporosium.How can his wife can forgive the murderers? No Vengence. Y?

If you believe in Jesus, holistically, wholistically you will be a changed/transformed person not living for yourself. Please dont mistake the Roman Catholics as Christians, they are Catholics and answerable to the Vatican Pope. Buy a Bible and read for yourself and you find how Jesus was such a wonderful person was and His grave in palestine is still empty. He was dead, buried, arosed from dead and now forever alive. He has gone to heaven and He is coming again to take us all who believes Him.

That's the good news. Thats the reason that converted girl hestitates to return back. The beautiful Gospel: Amazing Grace, how sweet his sound, that saved a wretch like me, was blind, now I see. How can a former blind person, healed now sees perfectly, asking him to be blind again! How can i betray a man(Jesus) who made my life wonderful from a horrible mess life? Thanks. Love from a wonderful brother in Christ. Jesus Loves you very much. If you are in a mess, pl call him now!!!

Comment #15 (Posted by JOHN KASHIF)


Comment #16 (Posted by Anselm)

Having stumbled upon this site while googling, I'll leave my 2 paise worth of thoughts. In India, I have seen quite a few mixed marriages especially those contacted in cities succeed. But the partners don't seem to be able to graduate to a greater closeness, than if the partners were to come from the same community.

The stand that one of the partners is not being accommodating, I think comes basically from the Roman Catholic Church concept that the main purpose of marriage is children - future citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. If these marriages were to succeed one of the partners has to give up their insistence on their faith and values and try and accept their partners'. I guess if each of the partners understands the reason for the others stand, there is a good chance that the marriage will succeed. There is a fundamental difference between the Eastern (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Confuciusism) and Western (Christianity, Islam) philosophies.

In the East it is generally accepted that there is no absolute right and wrong, both being a manifestation of the Absolute, thus results in things are left to take their own course. This makes it easier for the Hindu to adjust to the Christain or Muslim rather than vice-versa. But on the other hand one becomes fatalistic. If a person is poor, or sick, it is not taken to be nessasirily bad, to be avoided. The West believes that there is a personal God. This results in a clear right and wrong which results in a certain direction, a movement. Though, both the West and East say that man in his present state suffers, but in the West, since there is an absolute right and wrong,

Man is supposed to have a clear free will that he is supposed to exercise in order to be "saved" from his predicament. This is done by repenting (giving up pride) and having Faith in the Holy Spirit. Here there is too much emphasis on working out one's salvation and a lot of effort is spent in that direction. In the East the free will concept is a bit watered down. Here too man can be saved by attaining enlightenment, by meditating (giving up the ego and so be free), but since the East accepts that there is no absolute wrong and right, but since most people not understanding what enlightenment or salvation is all about - they end up by only 'reacting' and not acting. The Truth, I guess lies in-between.

Comment #17 (Posted by samar calvin ghori)


Comment #18 (Posted by Elizabeth)

Dear Friend, I am in your same predicament, but backwards: I am the Christian girlfriend from the USA, and my boyfriend is Hindu from India. We are thinking of getting married, but are coming across the same obstacles you are facing. It is true that the Bible says that we as Christians are only allowed to worship one God. Hence, the dilemma: if you try to force your girlfriend to participate in Hindu events, she will feel as though she is betraying God. If she does not participate in your religious events, she will feel as though she is betraying you. Believe me, being in our position is just as difficult as being in yours!

I googled this topic tonight because my boyfriend just told me that he assumed I would convert to Hinduism as soon as we were married, even though we had never discussed this before. It was quite a shock as I had never expected him to give up his religion for me, and has expected that we would simply respect each other's religious choices. In my opinion faith is very personal. It is also extremely important to me. I pray to God for help and guidance in all things, including my prayers for my boyfriend's success and happiness.

To turn my back on the God who has shown me so much love is not something I could live with, and I believe the same holds true for your Christian girlfriend. That said, I believe that if you two truly love each other, that is a wonderful thing, and you could try to work things out through communication and respect. If you do go ahead with the marriage, it would be best for you both to respect the other's faith and rules of that faith. I have talked to a Hindu friend who is dating a Christian man (opposite situation from me), and they are open to teaching their children about both faiths (the Christian father teaching his faith and the Hindu mother teaching hers) and letting the children decide which to continue when they become adults, something that I think I would consider as well.

I also do not see harm in simply learning about another faith, without actually being an active participant. I do think that learning about your wife's faith would help you understand her more, and that she should respect your devotion to Hinduism, even if she does not participate in your religious events. Also, please understand her position: it is not that she does not love you, but simply that Christians love God above all else, even themselves, and we are taught that love of God is the way to the greatest happiness for ourselves AND our spouses through the blessing of our marriages.

It is sad that religion, which brings us such joy and peace, can at times lead to division among friends, nations, even husband and wife. I do hope that you are able to work things out where both of you are happy, faithful, and at peace. If you truly love each other, I do believe you can overcome this challenge if you respect each other, have faith in God, and pray for His guidance. Best of luck!! My prayers are with you and your girlfriend.

Comment #19 (Posted by H Singh)

True follower of Christ will never leave His Lord and Follow the Idols, false Guru or teachers again. Jesus Christ has set us free from althese religion retuals. And also He is light and I think only a blind person can only leave a light and live again in darkness. For testimonies please visit www.thywillismywill.org

Comment #20 (Posted by srinivas)

Dear Friend, You should decide before marriage. Two faiths won't live together. Hinduism preaches tolerance. That is why your priest is asking you to follow your girlfriend's activities.But, this tolerance is never respected. This would be taken as weakness, you would be brainwashed to convert. You would lose your ideologies. You would lose your originality. You may notice some of the responses here asking you read bible and visit christian gospel websites. see it has already started... Don't succumb to this pressure. Be a proud Hindu..Be yourself.

Comment #21 (Posted by Anonymous)

I think of all the advice given here, Elizabeth's is the only one I agree with. I am Hindu female and yes, Hindus are brought up with tolerance and Christians are not. In order for it to work, there has to be a compromise, and it is best to discuss before taking that next step. Not just between you two but also between parents. You need to write a list of expectations from one another and discuss it. How willing are both of you to compromise. Not just you - BOTH of you. One of Christianity's goals is to save the human soul and make them convert; Hinduism's is to tolerate while believing your own beliefs. There is a major conflict of interest here. Be careful, be proud of your identity and be realistic.

Comment #22 (Posted by an unknown user)

Dude im sorry to say that she is not the one for you. One thing is good that she is a true believer. Please donot play with faith.

Comment #23 (Posted by siva)

Dude, after reading all the comments I am pretty much sure that it is not religion but mere fanaticism. Better be a hindu so that you can love god better. Also you can be a true human being. Truth is greater than god. Only hindu veda declare "From un-truth lead me to truth, from darkness led me to light, from death lead me to immortality". Believe me Christ lives in every heart of hindu. Only blind cannot see it and call it devil. Be a hindu and be free

Comment #24 (Posted by pat)

geez, from all the posts i've read, i feel even more confused and emotional. im a hindu and love my christian boyfriend. i sway and bend in tolerance and love and do christian activities with him. but i am a HINDU and this religion, hinduism is a kind and understanding one. my boyfriend is starting to try and convert me as all christians do eventually. i feel pressured. he has not respected my sacrifices. i love my religion as he does his. I wish he did not think himself so virtuous as a christian because i have stood by his side and been a virtuos and kind person also...i am a hindu. i am strong and tolerant. i am a hindu and this is my path that runs alongside his.

Comment #25 (Posted by That one kid)

I’m Christian and have a Hindu girlfriends and I to struggle with the religion thing as well. But I feel if the love is true then both can make it work with compromise and sacrifices. Both sides should participate in one anothers activities within reason. One should not feel pushed or forced to go one way. The religions do have similarities. so I think if marriage is in the future then I would present both religions to my kids and let them choose. They are there own person and I cant force anything on them and I cant choose there religion for them.

Comment #26 (Posted by an unknown user)

Let me make it clear from the start that I am a Christian. I am saddened that people on this posting are calling Christians "intolerant" and Hindus (and many other religions) "understanding". I really don't know much about the Hindu faith, but Jesus made it very clear that He was the ONLY was to God or Heaven. He was either absolutely right or absolutely wrong (and a liar). He came to not only warn everyone about the consequences of our sinful nature, to offer his own perfect life as a free sacrifice to anyone who accepts this. He was not being "mean" or "judgmental", but stating a fact that no one, no matter what they believe in or what they do on a personal level, will ever be able to justify themselves before God on their own merits. The most loving thing a person can tell someone that they love is the truth, and of absolute consequences. To tell people that all ways to God are true and they are not, is the most unloving and deceitful lie they could be told. I wish that everyone would accept this idea of grace justified only by Jesus, but the Bible says that few will enter Heaven, not because God doesn't want them to, but because He gave them a free will to accept or reject the offer of grace made possible only by Jesus Christ. Just like a criminal action we clearly know the penalties upfront, we have the choice to still accept to commit the crime. However, we must also be willing to accept whatever consequences are proper. Nobody likes to be punished, but in God's Holiness, all of us are unworthy of Him. I know everyone holds fast to their personal religion (or choice not to believe in anything) and will defend it even to the death, but we must make that choice with the greatest possible consideration of the evidence around us, and the eternal consequences it will evoke

.................................................................................................................................... Back to the original couple, I know love can seem to the conquerer of everything, but in this case the young woman's relationship with Jesus Christ should be foremost. Not to belittle Hinduism, but to not allow the obstacles and inevitable conflicts that will certainly arise of trying to worship more than one god in their home. I am sure she loves this young man, but usually when we follow our hearts, it leads us in foolish and regretful ways. I pray she will trust in God to meet her needs for friendship and companionship, but in a relationship where both of them can put God first, not their own personal emotions.

Comment #27 (Posted by Bill Donley)

I do not blame her at all. There is only one way to be saved, and That is through Yeshua. It is not through some other god or some pagan religion.