The Challenges of Christian Marriages in Contemporary Africa


  • Mr. Otieno Ishmael Opiyo University of Nairobi
  • Prof. Stephen Akaranga Ifedha University of Nairobi
  • Dr. Edith C. Kayeli University of Nairobi


African Christian marriage, husband, marriage, rites of passage, wife


This paper focuses on the need for dialogue between Christianity and African cultures in addressing contemporary marital problems. It highlights the historical problems that arose from the attempts to impose Christian marriage in Kenya void of African values by the early Christian missionaries. It also shows how the problems of marriage have persisted in African Christianity right from the missionary period and have degenerated with the wave of social change that is witnessed in the modern society. The paper summarizes pillars of both African and Christian marriages, thereby creating a ground for dialogue between the two faiths. On one side, African marriage is portrayed as a compulsory rite of passage, communal covenant, and a sacred institution with the value to create and recreate life. On the other, Christian marriage is presented as a monogamous union that binds together two individuals into a holy status of matrimony. The historical process is explained leading towards the pursuit of an African Christian marriage, and finally recommends some areas where the church could borrow from African cultural values to strengthen contemporary marriages




How to Cite

Otieno, O. I. ., Ifedha, S. A. ., & Kayeli, E. C. . (2021). The Challenges of Christian Marriages in Contemporary Africa. Impact: Journal of Transformation, 4(1), 46–55. Retrieved from