The influence of pentecostal churches on female marriage dynamics in southern Mozambique

Carlos Arnaldo, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane
Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University

Membership of Pentecostal-type churches has been rapidly growing in sub-Saharan Africa. While the influence of mainstream religious denominations on demographic behaviour has widely been researched, little is known regarding the role of small and emerging religions. We examine the influence of membership in Pentecostal-type churches on female marriage dynamics, focusing on age at first marriage, polygyny, and marital dissolution. We use data from a survey of 2064 women 18-50 years conducted of Chibuto district of Gaza province,southern Mozambique in 2008. The results of multivariate analyses show that while women affiliated with Pentecostal-type churches were not different from women affiliated with the mainstream religions in regard of age at first marital union, they were more likely to be in polygynous unions and to have a history of marital dissolution. We discuss these results in light of the social transformations trigged by an increasing influence of these churches on social institutions.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility, family and children