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

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Patrick Mawongo, president of the Kinshasa West Mission 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 in Matadi, DR Congo on October 21, 2023 to promote marriage. This event was part of an ongoing joint effort to encourage laws and practices that encourage marriage by easing legal and financial barriers.

This event was attended by Dominique Nkodiambete, Mayor of Matadi; Bunga Kula Didienne, Chief of Division of the Provincial Ministry of Gender, Family, and Children; Christophe Mampaka Di Makanda, Cabinet Director of the Provincial Ministry of Gender, Family, and Children; Reverend Armand Kinyamba, CNRP Secretary General; civic leaders; and representatives of several faiths.

Marriages in DR Congo often involve heavy financial burdens. According to tradition, the bride’s family requests a dowry, or “bride price,” which the groom is typically required to pay in full prior to marriage. This payment has greatly inflated over recent years, in many cases now amounting to thousands of dollars. This forced many couples to delay marriage or cohabitate without legal recognition.

To address this challenge, since 2021 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has worked with other faiths to encourage the Congolese government to pass laws and adopt practices that promote marriage and alleviate financial burdens.

President Mawongo explained why this issue is so important for the Church of Jesus Christ by quoting The Family: A Proclamation to the World: “We solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

He continued, “We call on responsible citizens and government leaders everywhere to promote measures intended to safeguard and strengthen the family in its role as the basic unit of society.”

“Unfortunately, several practices are observed which constitute a major obstacle, preventing men and women from achieving this objective. Among them, we cite:

  • The exaggerated size of dowry payment imposed on the future husband by the in-laws,
  • The exaggerated list of goods in kind requested by the woman’s family,
  • Administrative costs and other gifts requested by the various state services before the celebration and registration of the marriage.”

This event concluded with the marriage ceremony of six couples who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These unions were officiated by Matadi Mayor Dominique Nkodiambete, who proclaimed the six couples as legally married husbands and wives under Congolese law.





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