Item from the Smart Marriages Archive, reproduced in the Divorce Statistics Collection

Interfaith Marriages Lead to More Divorce, Study Says

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) " A Creighton University study found that married
couples from different Christian denominations divorce at a higher rate
and are more likely to drift away from the church than those who wed
within denominations.

However, the survey also indicated that shared religious activities are
more important to the success of marriages than shared beliefs. And the
divorce rate for the "inter-church" couples was only half that of the
U.S. population at large.

"Denominational differences don't cause breakups," said Michael Lawlor of
Creighton's Center for Marriage and Family. "It depends on what the
couple does together religiously and how they deal with differences. If
they can fashion a shared religious life, their marriages will be as
stable as any same-church marriage."

Couples who were members of different denominations when engaged but
later affiliated with the same church had a divorce rate of only 6
percent, compared with 14 percent for couples of the same denomination
and 20 percent for those who maintained membership in different

The research was presented by Barbara Markey, PhD, at the Smart Marriages
conference in Washington, DC July 1-4. Tape #509 "Dealing With Risk
Factors of Inter-Faith Marriages."

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