Posted on 38 Comments

Modern Day Forced Marriages

“Arrangee Marriage” the practice of arranged marriages is a serious problem in our society today. The tradition of forced marriages is widespread in Nigeria, usually parents selling their children into wedlock.

Children especially girls are forced into these marriages. If the girl is against the union, she could be kidnapped while out running errands, usually with her parents consent. Once the man (usually older) forcibly rapes the girl, she is left with few choices but to accept her fate and remain with him.

The new face of forced arranged marriages is the new wave of churches popping up in Nigeria today including the Christian Pentecostal Church. They marry based on the arrangement set for them by their religious leaders. The church tests for virginity, pregnancy, sickle cell traits and AIDS/HIV. The virginity and pregnancy tests are conducted on the bride for reasons best known to the church, a double standard and abuse of the women.

There is nothing wrong in principle with testing for sickle cell and AIDS/HIV as a way of promoting family health, but virginity and pregnancy tests in the church? These brides are brainwashed by a bunch of self-righteous so-called “men of god” who abuse them in the name of Christianity. And then you have the grooms who are delusional about their faith.

There was a case at a Redeemed Church (RCCG) in Lagos a few months back where a thirty year old woman was tested, not only was she not a virgin she was also pregnant. Her fiancé worked at the church and knew the church is strongly against premarital sex. Unfortunately the congregations follow the ideals of these lustful men in search of salvation from God.

There was this couple (Janet & Yinka) in their early twenties who were members of my old church. They had known each other since their teens everyone in the church knew them as a couple. One day my adopted brother told me what he was working on, a scheme to convince Janet that Yinka is not the best person to marry because marrying in ones age group especially for women is not in their best interest.

Cooking For Wedding Party
Cooking For Wedding Party

I knew Pastor Ade’s area of expertise was in match making but that was a step too far. I don’t know how he did it but he succeeded in convincing Janet that college was a waste of time and that marrying a man that was 40 years older was the best option for her life.

The groom is a twice-married widower senior pastor who lost both wives to illnesses. He has four grown children, one of them older than Janet

How is Janet doing after over a decade of “Arrangee Marriage”, now in her mid thirties with five children, and a husband who is older than her father? She did not come home for several years after the marriage to avoid awkward conversations.

We have moved on as a country from many traditional practices that we see as imposing or outdated for modern times however, many of the practices in the Pentecostal churches today is far worse than what we moved away from.

Folakemi Odoaje for #JujuFilms 

38 thoughts on “Modern Day Forced Marriages

  1. Shocking !! Its absolutely ghastly to perform such atrocious practices in order to force a girl to a wedlock. Unless the current and the future generation doesn’t realize it as crime to humanity,these things will continue to flourish for centuries.Unfortunately,the new generation doesn’t realize it much and that’s the sad bitter truth.

    1. Thank you. Yea a serious crime it is but when you add The good name of Jesus to anything in Nigeria, very likely to get away with it.

      1. if Jesus is the God of Christianity,I don’t think he had time to write down such rules and so called correct behavior ideas,the people who followed him have written all these horrible ideas and spread in the name of religion and Jesus !

  2. You are on point..these days at least with the southerners, the parents don’t force you to marriage. I know of some churches who will not allow a female marry a non member. Lying to people,cajoling them to marry someone against their wish is wrong and to me,witchcraft.. Yes…when you use the cloak of the supernatural to lie and manipulate people …that person is a witch…I think people should learn to be less reliant on others to hear from God concerning their own lives..Make your mistakes and learn from them…

    1. Thank you. You are on point re parent no longer force children to marry a certain person but church is getting away with it.

  3. How awful. 🙁

  4. Thanks Wendy, awful indeed more so when it is all done in the name of God

  5. I did not know this. I will pray for them to wake up and let women marry their own choice for a spouse. That’s so sad she couldn’t marry her childhood sweetheart. 😔

    1. Thank you for the comment and reblog

  6. Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses.

  7. Your story is made even worse when the church is drawn into it.

    1. Thanks for the comment. In this case church is not drawn into it – church is the creator of the practice.

  8. Thank you for sharing this and opening the eyes of we who are true Christians. This is appalling and should be dealt with. It makes us wonder what the Pentecostal churches in U.S. are really doing. May I share this on my blog? I am so sorry that this is happening to these dear Nigerian women, also sorry the men are being duped into believing that this is what Christ would want.

    1. Apologies for the delayed reply, just noticing your comment. Yes, please reblog away! Nigeria Pentecostal is something else, sometimes I want to believe their God must be different from other Christian God, it is that appalling. Most of the social headaches today penetrated to the people through Nigeria Pentecostal churches – their pastors are the perfect agents for our corrupt government so much so that citizens who have depended on the church as a place to ‘breathe’ now are thrown into confusing state.

      Many thanks for stopping by.

      1. Thank you for your reply. When I didn’t hear back from you, I did reblog it because I felt it was a very important issue. And yes, the Christian God is not what the Pentecostal churches are preaching in Nigeria. Our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, has very strict rules about how we are supposed to treat each other. The husband is supposed to love his wife the same way Christ loved the church: which is to be willing to give up his life for hers. He is to be protector, provider, comforter for his wife. He is supposed to be gentle and kind. The wife is supposed to respect and love her husband, and to be obedient to him. But she is to obey her husband BECAUSE she loves God and trusts God to help her husband be the kind of man he should be. Our God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and present everywhere at once. He is a God of mercy and compassion, but also a God of justice. We will all stand before Him one day and answer for the things we have done. Those of us who have invited Him to be in charge of our lives, and love Him so much will give an account for whether we have been the example to the unsaved (people who don’t know, have a relationship with Jesus), or whether we have hindered people coming to know about this wonderful Savior. There is so much I could share with you about the One true God. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail ( or find me (Aleta Kay) on Facebook. Also, let me know if there’s anything you think I can do to help stop this atrocity.

      2. Thank you for your time. Although, this is not the representation of all Penticoastal in Nigeria, it is true that the practice is common. Hopefully, this will raise awareness so others could put end to the forced relationships.

  9. Wow, I was not aware of this, shocking!

    1. Yea, we are, that shocking. What we are hiding is far worse that what we are known for worldwide.
      My hope was when everything is in the open we can face the reality and have the courage to pick up our shattered pieces together.

      Thank you for the read and comment.

  10. Wow I too was unaware that this is happening in our current times! I am so grateful for you being able to get this type of behavior out to the broader public. The ONLY way change happens is to no longer feel they can isolate themselves from public view! You go girl! Praying for change!

    1. Thank you for the support! Very much appreciated.

      1. Just read about more kidnappings in MORNING NEWS! The word is out to expose the criminals! continuing to shine bright light in your world my friend! You do make a difference as one or more come together the world shifts and changes. from my heart to yours

  11. Thank you for sharing this. While we are aware of ‘arranged marriages’ we in the western world really do not comprehend how widespread this practice is. The fact that the church is playing such a large role here is unbelievable How can anyone think it better for a young woman to marry a man old enough to be her father rather than the chosen one of her own age.
    Anyway, Good to meet you. Thanks for reading and deciding to follow my blog. I shall return often to see what you are up to.

    1. Thank you Judith, I appreciate you.

  12. thanx for the like
    Regarding the christian church, the female sex and so, this may have your interest?:

    BTW. Question:

    When i talk/write on black africans I usally denouce them negros, or in danish negere, simply meaning “black”.

    Is it actually insulting? or is just the political corrects who have a rant?

  13. Very interesting post and conversation going on. Forced marriages “in the name of Jesus” is NOT what true Christianity is about. Humans have corrupted His wonderful message.

  14. I can’t even process how awful this is.

  15. I may be a Christian but I believe v. much that Christianity as practised by the Pentecostal churches in Nigeria, poses perhaps the greatest impediment to the rights of women in Nigeria.

    A particular Pentecostal church-owned university has also been widely reported as demanding the testing of girls for whatever demeaning tests. Just plain horrible.

    1. Thank you Ma.

      What is most upsetting was that many women for some reason think they have to keep up with this dreaming practices. Oh, the pastor made them believe he holds the key to heaven.

  16. Reblogged this on emotanglobal and commented:
    The Pentecostal church heads in Nigeria have their followers in such vice-like grips that anything they say is held as coming from God which shows most of these “places of worship” as cult-lands.
    It’s not too long ago that a church leader actually set a female church member on fire after dousing her with kerosine. The “Rev” Johnson was found guilty of murder but there are many “pastors” out there whose unbridled power has gone beyond raking in money to taking over the lives of members MOST OF WHOM ARE WOMEN. They do with these vulnerable people, as they will.

    Forced marriages are an aspect of the control over women these “churches” have now graduated to.

    This is an essay worth sharing. TOLA.

    1. Thank you for the reblog

  17. Thank you for the brave reporting on this issue.

  18. Reblogged this on Pocketful of Joy and commented:
    I am reblogging this because this is NOT my God, this is NOT my Church, this is NOT my belief, this is NOT my joy. This is an atrocity and it needs to stop! And it is worded here so eloquently, by one who lives there and sees the monster. I had NO idea… but if we get it out into the light, that’s the beginning of chasing away the monsters, that they lose their power, and in the end, that WILL bring us, and the women of Nigeria, JOY!

  19. Thank you for following my blog. It is this piece that was my determining factor in following yours. And I reblogged it, as well. It is too important of an issue to leave in the dark. Your writing is superb, but your cause is divine. May the True God bless you in your continued efforts to enlighten your countrymen. You will remain in my prayers.

  20. This is the Devil that lurks in sheep clothing. All though you shed light on something many can not comprehend. There is much to learn about what goes on in other parts of the world. This is just another atrocity that comes to bare in Black societies. What is the difference between White on Black and Black on Black violent attacks on man kind. It’s always the wealthy against the poor and the poor against each other.
    Peace be on to you and yours!

  21. […] Thanks to whomever left me a bottle of wine at my studio, although I don’t drink or celebrate christmas not because I am the anti Christ. Just like my good friend Michael L. Gormley I am a big fan of Jesus just not too crazy about his followers perverting his teachings, praising Jesus with visions of Adeboye. […]

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