Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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What is Your Grace's opinion concerning marrying outside one's race? My daughter wants to marry a man from another race and color. Although I do understand that before God we are equal; yet I am worried about the social and psychological problems that might result from marrying outside one's race and the future implications of such a marriage on her offspring.

As Christians, the Holy Bible teaches us to love one another and not to discriminate. We are all equal in front of God, so we should look at each other as equal. A person is not measured by the color of his skin or his nationality but by the heart. The Lord said to Samuel, "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Sam 16:7). If we are to be imitators of Christ, we are to follow His footsteps and love all people without discrimination.

With regard to marriage, there are many factors that should determine our choice of a life partner. The spiritual level of this person should not only be the number one, but the only factor. Definitely cultural and social background do influence marital relationships. Therefore, we do recommend more or less cultural, educational and social equality between a couple in order to promote understanding and help overcome a lot of the problems that might arise between them after marriage.
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