icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Swedish non-religious majority gets faith symbol-free cemetery

Swedish non-religious majority gets faith symbol-free cemetery
The Borlänge locality in central Sweden has opened the country’s first cemetery with no religious symbols allowed. Nearly eight Swedes out of 10 say they are not religious or are active atheists.

The idea that non-religious people should have a place for their final rest with no religious symbols on gravestones came to local teacher Josef Erdem, reported the Local.

“There’s a place on this earth for everybody and we shouldn’t be limited in how we choose to live or how we choose to be buried,” he told the news website.

The cemetery would be cared for by the Church of Sweden, which runs the city’s Stora Tuna church, located next to the land, but otherwise no religious institution would have any say on how people would be buried there.

Religious people are welcome to be buried at the cemetery, should they wish to, as long as they are fine with their graves not bearing any symbols of their faith.

Erdem, who grew up in Kurdistan, says he shared his idea with friends, some of whom are believers and some are not, and the response from both camps “has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The cemetery is empty so far, but some local residents voiced their interest in being buried there.

“I don’t want a burial place with a stone that needs to be cared for. I also don’t want a church burial because I’m not a believer so this suits me great,” teacher Gunnar Lindgren told broadcaster SVT.

Sweden ranks among the least-religious nations in the world. In a 2014 Gallop poll, 76 percent of respondents in Sweden said they were non-religious or atheist. Of the 65 countries polled, the percentage was greater only in China and Japan.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.