Refer to the letter, “Only God can sustain the marriage institution” (The New Times, February 4). Stability of a marriage is not about the ceremony, it is about the people involved. There is plenty of evidence that religion, or the lack of it, has a strong impact on the stability of a marriage. There is a negative correlation between religious practice and divorce rate.
For example, Italy (a religious country) has a much lower rate of divorce and a much higher rate of religiosity than Sweden (a lay and atheist country). Same goes for Israel and Japan as compared to the United States.
A few minutes on Google would give you all the data you want.
Dogma is a wondrous thing to behold. Marriage is a social contract and it is no less important because the metaphysical God is kept strictly out of the equation.
Traditional Rwandan (or other African) marriages, unconsecrated by the Christian God, were no less solid or stable. In fact, their survivability rates may have been much higher than those celebrated with lots of pomp in various religious ceremonies.
Like much about religion, the belief by the credulous religious that religious marriages, as opposed to civil and secular marriages, are more likely to survive and not end up in divorce is based on nothing more solid than evidence-free faith. It is an assumption lacking any empirical evidence whatsoever to back it up. As such, it has no credibility and no place in any social policy-making debates.