Plans for Muslim burial plots in Nosaby: "We have a good place"
In a multicultural society with a variety of religious beliefs, there are also different traditions when it comes to burial customs; special burial spaces are therefore created for people of faith other than that of the majority population.
Christian cemeteries sometimes set aside an area for other faiths.
The Church of Sweden in Kristianstad, for example, has a Muslim burial quarter and plots for other faiths at Rödaled's cemetery.
Nosaby Parish is now preparing a Muslim quarter at the cemetery in Nosaby.
It is an enclosed green space with an entrance in the northern part of the cemetery.
– We have a good place for this and saw the possibilities, says Mikael Thörnström, the Parish's Supervisory Church Warden.
A simple ceremony site and a Muslim burial quarter will be made. It will be an open place so that mourners find comfort there. A passage will separate the area from the rest of the cemetery.
The work is planned to begin this year.
The plans include 75 burial plots and there are possibilities to increase these. The Muslim burial quarter was designed in consultation with the Imam of the Alhamra mosque in Kristianstad.
At the moment, it is not possible to say when the first Muslim funeral can take place in Nosaby.
– The fact that we are neighbours with those who belong to a different faith and culture than our own means that we will also be neighbors with each other in the cemetery. We live and die together, says Göran Hansson, Nosaby Parish Priest.
The Church of Sweden is the main authority for burial and cremation services in Sweden; everyone who is registered in the country pays a burial tax, regardless of whether they belong to the Church of Sweden or not.
– Everyone is included and everyone will get a burial plot, regardless of faith or religious affiliation. This is about community, says Mikael Thörnström.
He shares that representatives from the parish have carried out study visits to Muslim burial sites in Skåne, and they have also learned a new way of working because Muslim burials differ to Christian burials.
• Has three cemeteries in Österslöv, Nosaby and Fjälkestad and are located close to the parish’s churches.
• Nosaby cemetery is enclosed by a stone wall and older lime trees on all sides except to the east. The cemetery has approximately 3,200 graves in 57 burial quarters. On the north-east side there is an urn and memorial grove.
• The cemetery is characterised by changes made in the 1870s when the current church was built. This is when the cemetery’s basic structure was also established with long, narrow north-south quarters and intersecting passages.
• An urn and memorial grove was created as an extension to the old cemetery to the northeast in the 1990s. There has also been a place for the interment of ashes since 2015.
• The cemetery has capacity for future burial services as a large number of coffin sites have been returned and withdrawn within the older section.
• The older, most cultural and historically valuable tombstones are located closest to the church to the west. There are large lavish family graves here.
• Source: Nosaby Parish