Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Why do cemeteries segregate by religion?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) February 15th, 2010

There are catholic cemeteries, jewish cemeteries, muslim cemeteries and others.
Why is this?
Is there benefit in dividing people even after death?

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23 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

because generally each faith has its own burial rites.

Judi's avatar

Many faiths see a burial place as sacred ground.

Dog's avatar

I believe it dates back to the times when churches had cemeteries as part of the church grounds.

For the Christians who believe in resurrection it was practical to be united in death thus reunited after the return and resurrection.

Because of the cost of land and overcrowding, cemeteries have been established on properties outside of town. Churches would purchase plots of land and thus the different cemeteries for specific faiths.

Most large cemeteries now have separate sections for different faiths to accommodate modern burial preferences.

My thoughts on the modern burial is that the older generations felt more strongly tied to their religious roots but the descendants may just prefer to be buried near their ancestors. But that is my own opinion.

KhiaKarma's avatar

I think it has more to do with convenience for the families. Unsually the church is their community. Where I grew up in East Texas, our family reunions took place at a church cemetary. I don’t think they banned other denominations, though….

lloydbird's avatar

To avoid the cross-breeding of maggots.

janbb's avatar

So one doesn’t get mixed up with the riff-raff.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@Dog You are right. If you go to older churches, generally churches had their own cemetery where the congregation was buried. Many churches in Boston (the older ones; King’s Chapel, 1600s) have their own cemeteries.

Just writing that I had a thought though; I live in an old part of New England, my town was founded early in American history (mid 1600s) and you do find family plots near houses and what-not. And we have a very large graveyard on the outskirts of town that has no building near it whatsoever. Never mind, my dad just informed me that it’s the old church cemetery.

More input from my dad; he said that traditionally the parishes owned the burial grounds, or something, so they had a say in who was buried there.

Knoll318's avatar

It’s likely because of respect for the faith and their burial procedure. For example, Islam doesn’t let very ostentatious headstones and markers of the dead. My grandmother had a grave marker that didn’t go above the ground. Plus, she was facing the Kabba. If a Christain and a Muslim were in the same burial place, the family of the deceased may not like the fact that there might be a very showy mausolem for the Christain.

This is just speculation, of course.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

It prevents fights !!

Harp's avatar

Some faiths believe that proper burial must take place in consecrated ground. Since ground consecrated for Catholic burial can only accommodate Catholics, Jewish consecrated areas only Jews, Muslim areas only Muslims, etc., segregation is a necessity.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Eternal redlining.

CMaz's avatar

Because my God is better then your god. :-)

Fyrius's avatar

I wonder if there are any atheist cemeteries, or if we have to hit the coffin in between the religious peeps.
We’re probably a desecration to no matter what sacred ground they plant us in.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Fyrius check out CRRA. You should have something similar in NL.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Fyrius I thought Atheists just donate our bodies to science. I carry my donor card in my wallet at all times.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Just another way religion separates people.

ChaosCross's avatar

I would assume somewhere along the line that one group refused to bury another’s dead thus making the need for other graveyards necessary.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@ChaosCross that, or Soylent Green…

eLenaLicious's avatar

to prevent a horrible inter-racial war between the living dead

thriftymaid's avatar

I’ve never heard of it, but then, I’ve never lived in one.

Fyrius's avatar

Ah, yes, that’s true. So do I.

Silhouette's avatar

Less squabbling.

rojo's avatar

Nobody want to be buried with a pentacostal snake handler except another pentacostal snake handler.

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