Religions and Cremation

September 28, 2002

Source: State-Times/Morning Advocate

On September 28, 2002 the State-Times/Morning Advocate reported on different religious traditions and their beliefs about cremation. It stated, "cremation is common among Eastern religions. Hindus in India have crematoriums that are open all the time. The families quickly prepare the body, and family and friends go to the funeral pyre. Since the Buddha was cremated, most Buddhists follow this example. In Islam, cremation is forbidden, based on rituals regarding the dead found in the Quran and Sunnah. Muslims consider burial to be following the tradition of Abraham. Judaism has been one of the slowest religions to accept cremation. Since the late 1890s, some laws in Reform Judaism allow it, but Orthodox and Conservative law prohibits a person choosing to be cremated. Memories of the Holocaust have added to the Jewish sentiment against cremation. Even when cremation is accepted, scattering the ashes is not."