Christian Marriage in Pakistan
Christian Marriages in Pakistan; A Guide
Christian marriage in Pakistan is governed by the Christian Marriage act of 1872, and have a set way of being executed. In this article, we will guide you through the process and what the current customs are in Pakistan.
The Christian Community in Pakistan is a thriving, educated and high achieving community in Pakistan, marriage is a glorious and festive event amongst society. This guide will articulate the process and due diligence of the matter.
The pre-requisites of Christian Marriage in Pakistan
In Pakistan, both parties must be Christian for the marriage
to be executed. Having said that, it is noteworthy to mention that if one party
is Muslim, i.e. the bride is Christian and the Groom is Muslim, then Muslim law
would prevail and the marriage would take place by way of Nikkah.
The minimum age (by law) of both parties to be married is 18, but Christian Law suggests that anyone under the age of 21 would be considered a minor. In this case, anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 would require a letter of consent or an NOC from their parent or guardian for the marriage to happen.
Points to Consider in Christian Marriages
As opposed to Muslim Marriages, in Christian marriages, the wife can not be given a right to divorce. In fact, the Christian Divorce Process in Pakistan, and overall, is totally different. Christian do not marry their first cousins, as its considered incest.
It is also noteworthy to mention that bigamy and polygamy are also not permitted in Christianity, therefore one man can only marry (or be married to) one woman, and visa Versa.
Dowry and Bridal Gifts in Christian Marriages
The concept of Dower, Dowry articles and Jehz do not form part of Christian marriage. In essence, unlike a Muslim Marriage in Pakistan, Christian Marriages in Pakistan are not viewed as a contract. In fact, it is seen as a lifelong commitment, which is one of the reasons why Christian divorces in Pakistan are extremely tedious.
To cover the protection of Bridal Gifts, Distribution of Assets and Alimony, it is recommended that the spouses arrange a Prenuptial Agreement prior to their marriage. This would ensure that both the bride and groom have an amicable separation with regards to their belongings, in the event of separation.
The Process of Christian Marriage in Pakistan
In Pakistan, it is routinely practiced that, prior to the
wedding, during Sunday Mass (the Sermon held in Church) that the announcement
is made twice (once a week) before the wedding. This is covered in Section 12 of the Christian
Marriage Act 1872.
The announcement must include their names, occupation, their
residence (and how long they have been there). Their respective churches would also
be mentioned, with the proposed date of marriage.
Location of the Christian Wedding in Pakistan
It is also stipulated that the marriage would take place in
a church, between the hours of 6am and 7pm. It is noteworthy to mention that if
both the husband and wife are members of two different churches, then the wife’s
church would be the church of choice for the matrimonial ceremony.
If the marriage is to be solemnized or conducting in a
private hall or home, then the minister needs to be informed, to ensure they
may enforce the registration appropriately.
The Elements of a Christian Wedding in Pakistan
The wedding ceremony, and the process of inaugurating the
marriage, must be conducted by an ordained pastor or recognized clergyman. The
said clergymen must also be authorized and licensed by the local governing
In Christian weddings, vows are exchanged (such as “To be
together in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part” etc.) after which
their marriage would be registered by the authorized registrar. This is usually
where the rings are exchanged. For the Registration of the marriage, a witness
is required from both sides.
Registering a Christian Marriage
Once the wedding ceremony takes place, the couple would be
issued with a marriage certificate. The married couple would then have 2 months
to register the marriage from the date of issuance of the marriage certificate.
The couple would present themselves before the Minister,
with their witnesses and their parents/guardian (or a NOC / Consent form) to
register and solemnize their marriage officially.
Can Christian Couples conduct a court marriage?
As you can see, the process of Christian Marriage in Pakistan is rather complex. Although a Christian Court Marriage in Pakistan won’t be the same as a Muslim Court Marriage in Pakistan, there are ways and variations to it.
In this instance, it is best to speak to us with your
independent circumstances and requirements, and we will advise you based on
your specific criteria.
The common issues faced in Christian Marriage
The most common issue faced in Christian marriage is when the Parents (either one or both) refuse or use their rights to prohibit the marriage. In the absence of parents, a guardian may also highlight their concerns about the marriage, which would then need to be legally challenged.
Another issue is if the couple uses an unverified or unauthorized marriage sermon, pastor, clergymen or minister. This becomes an issue for all parties involved. This is why it is a good idea to do your research before planning to use any church or clergymen.
How we can help you with your Christian Marriage
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your marital
requirements, please feel free to call us on 0308 551 0031 (or 0092 308 551
0031 if you are calling from outside Pakistan).
Alternatively, you can WhatsApp us, or simply fill out this
form below, and one of our representatives will contact you to discuss your