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It is inconceivable that one would pledge their love to another person in the name and presence of a God he or she does not believe in.QUESTION: If the Orthodox Church forces its members to marry outside the church, will it recognize the marriage?Bottom line: if you’re not an observant Jew, why would you want to be bar mitzvahed; if you do not practice Buddhism, why would you want to be a Buddhist monk?It is a matter of sacramentology, as well as common sense.Again, in my own experience, I would say that most of the marriages I have had the honor of celebrating have been between Orthodox Christians and non-Orthodox Christians—and yet in almost every instance the non-Orthodox party has converted to Orthodoxy and remains active in the life of the Church.Surely this would not be the case if the couples had not spoken with me and allowed me to work together with them.Especially against the Jewish people from whom all Christianity is derived.ANSWER: The practice of the Church is not a matter of discrimination any more than the practice of the Jewish faith, which only permits practicing Jews to celebrate their bar mitzvah, or the practice of the Buddhist faith, which allows only practicing Buddhists to enter Buddhist monastic orders, are cases of discrimination.

ANSWER: The Orthodox Church never forces its members to marry outside the Church.All are very active members of the Church to this day!Had they not spoken with the priest, had they allowed their anger or assumptions or prejudices to keep them from speaking with the priest, the outcome of these situations would have been very, very different.One cannot compare the recognition of a civil divorce and the recognition of a civil marriage; it is a matter of apples and oranges.The Church does not deny that those involved in a civil marriage are married civilly; it would make no sense for the Church to accept a civil marriage as a sacrament since the person who performs civil marriages would deny that they are sacraments in the first place. In my years as a priest I have had several situations similar to the one you describe. In most cases the non-baptized individual decided to explore Orthodoxy—casually at first, more intensely as time went on, embracing it zealously in the end—and they were eventually baptized and subsequently married in the very Church they had initially shunned.