Mideastern burial traditions clash with fears of contagion
BAGHDAD (AP) — Mohammed al-Dulfi’s 67-year-old father died on March 21 after a brief struggle against the new coronavirus, but it would take nine days for his body to find a final resting place in the Shiite holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq. On two occasions, the family rejected remote burial plots proposed by […]
21 boys who died in Islamic school fire buried in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The pre-dawn blaze Thursday at a three-story ‘tahfiz’ school, where Muslim boys study and memorize the Quran, blocked the lone exit from the dormitory, trapping students behind barred windows.
Vatican to Catholics: Cremation can be OK, but don’t scatter ashes!
VATICAN CITY (RNS) New guidelines also forbid loved ones from dividing up the ‘cremains’ or keeping them in jewelry or on the mantelpiece.
Funerals held for slain police
DALLAS — Thousands of police officers joined by ordinary citizens attended funerals for three of the policemen shot dead in a racially motivated ambush attack last week that intensified America’s long-running debate on race and justice.
How secular Americans are reshaping funeral rituals
(RNS) This may be the year that cremation surpasses burial for the first time in the United States, as a long-standing trend continues.
Two Israeli burial societies agree not to segregate men and women at funerals
JERUSALEM (RNS) Until now, the burial societies in Israel have ignored 2013 directives from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the attorney general banning gender segregation in cemeteries.
Nazi ban * Blasphemy in Greece * Anti-gay Africa: Religious Freedom Recap: Jan. 20-27
Israel considers a ban on Nazi symbols. Greece evokes its blasphemy laws to jail a man for poking fun of a monk on Facebook. And anti-gay laws are passed or challenged in Nigeria, Uganda and Malawi.
ShivaConnect helps Jews navigate the mourning period
(RNS) The aim of the website is to avoid duplication and consolidate the many facets of Jewish mourning.
Godless funerals thrive in ‘post-Catholic’ Ireland
DUBLIN (RNS) After 32 years as an interior designer, Patricia Wojnar went back to school for a master’s degree in bereavement studies, a hot commodity in Ireland’s “post-Catholic” economy that features growing markets for wedding and funeral officiants who aren’t associated with the scandal-scarred Catholic Church.
‘Death cafes’ normalize a difficult, not morbid, topic
(RNS) No one wants to talk about death at the dinner table, says Lizzy Miles, a social worker in Columbus, Ohio. But sometimes people need to talk about the “taboo” topic. Hence the birth of “death cafes.”