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

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

In recent years the number of Zionist and other Pentecostal-type churches has been rapidly increasing in southern Mozambique. While the influence of mainstream religious beliefs and practice on the demographic behaviour has widely been researched, little is known regarding the role of small and emerging religions. In this paper, we address the influence of emerging Pentecostal-type churches on female marriage dynamics, focusing in particular on age at first marriage, polygyny, and marital dissolution. The paper applies multivariate statistical techniques to a survey of 2064 women aged 18 to 50 years to compare women who belong to the mainstream religion and women belonging to Pentecostal-type religions on their socioeconomic characteristics and marriage pattern. While women affiliated with Pentecostal-type churches were not different from women affiliated with the mainstream religions in regard of age at entry into first marital union, they were more likely to be in polygynous unions.

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Presented in Session 87: Marriage markets, endogamy, polygamy, and heterogamy