Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How an Ethiopian priest changed his views on child marriage

(Mar 11, 2015, (PRI))--The Orthodox Church dominates life in Ethiopia, and its priests are some of the country’s most respected figures. So when priests take child brides, often age 15 or younger, it's not something that's questioned by the community. Rather, it's expected. Tradition dictates that a priest must marry a virgin.

“Before, the priests used to think that marrying a girl over 15 years old, after her menstruation starts, is a bad thing, it lowers her quality,” says Melak Birhan Ewenetu Yetemegne, the second top priest in his region, a rural area in southern Amhara in the cool Ethiopian highlands.

His district includes 56 churches and more than 2,000 priests. And his experience with child marriage is personal. When he was 22, he married a girl who was only 9.  Read the full story at PRI »

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