The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Partners with Other Faiths and

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Elder Mwanke Baker David Ngabizele, Area Seventy representing the Central Africa Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, joined other religious leaders from the National Council of Religions for Peace (CNRP) and government leaders of DR Congo to promote the easing of legal and financial requirements for marriage, held on July 22, 2023 in Mbuji-Mayi, DR Congo.

The province of Mbuji-Mayi has a very low rate of legalized marriage. “More than 70% of marriages are not registered in the civil registry,” declared Mr. Jean Mari LUTUMBA KATUPU MOYI, Mayor of Mbuji-Mayi. He added, “In Kasaï, it is customary to say that to legalize marriage is to give women the power to dominate over men.” Cultural and administrative obstacles are among the major causes of the proliferation of consensual informal unions. In addition, the increase in the price of the dowry (bride price) and the costs of civil marriage registration are obstacles.

Reverend Armand Kinyamba, secretary general of the National Council of Religions for Peace in DR Congo, praised the support that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings to the cause of the family. He said, “For the province of Kasai-Oriental we are considering the following actions: Capacity building on legal texts related to the marriage of religious leaders, customary authorities, politico-administrative authorities, and stakeholders. The establishment of a consultation framework between the provincial government, the religious denominations, and the actions to be carried out together according to the needs of the population.”

Elder Ngabizele stressed the importance of marriage in God’s eternal plan. “The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children,” he said, and “there is no church without family, and there is no state without family.”

Roger Sesani Makuntima, Congolese government expert on marriage and family, explained the dangers of the non-legalization of marriages and the urgent need to ease the conditions of access to marriage by the authorities because he said “without regulated families, without united families, we have a growing population that is not supervised. And this population has repercussions on the social, economic conditions of the province and even on development.”

His Excellency KABEYA MATSHI ABIDI Patrick-Mathias, Governor of the province of Kasaï-Oriental, present at this activity thanked the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the CNRP as well as the national government for the initiative undertaken in his province. He said, “I am of the opinion that the common-law unions which are very common in our province, which represent the majority of our couples, and which represent a major obstacle to family unity and stability, will end. … This is why I am committed to facilitating the celebration and registration of civil marriages in my province. “

This event ended with the collective marriage of four couples who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Mbuji-Mayi Stake. These unions were officiated by the mayor of Mbuji-Mayi, and the four couples were officially and legally declared husbands and wives.





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