Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Interfaith relationship

(Picture just for viewing pleasure)


I consider myself Buddhist and try my best to follow Buddhist teachings, however there is one thing I often struggle with. I'm involved in an inter-faith relationship. My boyfriend is Christian and we've been together for over a year. I've heard a ton about why we can't be together from the Christian point of view, but I don't have a concrete idea about what the Buddhist stand point on inter-faith relationships is. My understanding is that as long as two people love each other and are happy together, that's all that matters… but I'm not absolutely positive and I'm afraid that I might be wrong. I'd really appreciate it if you could clarify Buddhism's position on inter-faith relationships? Thanks.

My comment:

Thank you for asking me.

My wife's elder sister is a devout Buddhist. Her husband is a Catholic. They married quite late in life. They already had the mental and spiritual maturity before they decided to commit themselves. When my brother-in-law proposed marriage, my sister-in-law was adamant that it could not work because she would not change her faith and also did not expect him to change either. This future brother-in-law to be, was insistent that if her faith were so strong perhaps he might be influenced to change his. In this scenario, neither party was insistent that the other party must change his/her faith. Neither party was interested to "convert" the other. There was no argument about each other's belief. It is through this MUTUAL RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING that they are still living happily together, without changing one's religion.

My wife has two sisters. One of them is a Catholic. Three of them are very close to one another and always show genuine love and concern for the well being of one another. Each respect the other's belief. There is NEVER any criticism of one another's religion. All three of them live a wholesome and dignified life. This is the true understanding of practicing one's religion.

Buddhists do not have problems living with others who have different beliefs, because they do not demand that others must change their beliefs. But it is always a BIG PROBLEM with people of other faiths who demand that others MUST CHANGE their beliefs.

In the final analysis do both of you have the spiritual maturity to respect each other's belief for the greater good of an everlasting happy married life? You have to think VERY CAREFULLY. Use your head and not your heart to make this very important decision of a lifetime.


PM said...

This is a good one.

In Indonesia, the situation is completely different. In some families they have different faith living together. Even in their TV airtime, allocation are made for other religions to preach their faith.

However in malaysia try asking for airtime, or fight for it you get ISA.

In Malaysia only the buddhist can accept other faith in their family.

cilipadi said...


Allow me to give my thought here after giving morality lesson in Dr's blog.

True Buddhist never impose values onto others by force, and never insist.

Justin Choo said...


I am surprised to have you here as a visitor and comment as well.


A true Malaysian and yours truly are tired of repeating our messages calling on the good Dr to leave Gerakan. So we have voluntarily "resigned" from the good Dr's blog comment. However "A true Malaysian" and I are still reading his blog, and checking to be first to congratulate him when he said good-bye to Gerakan.


A true Malaysian said...

A true Malaysian is dead in blogosphere, but not in this "haven blog", "Life Is Like That".

I am waiting for the moment to reborn again in the "down to earth blog of Dr. Hsu".

Let's enjoy the exciting performance of cilipadi and monk, who teach those one thing or two on nature law of karma.

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