World Religions and Their Views on Cremation

There are many religions worldwide, and they all have their own customs, beliefs, and traditions. Because death and the afterlife are such a significant part of religion, it’s important to understand where each religion stands on cremation.

World Religion View On Cremation

What is Cremation?

Once a person has died, cremation is a way to honor the person’s body. During cremation, the body is placed inside a retort and heated to temperatures up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The cremation process usually takes around two hours.

When the cremation is complete, the cremated remains are placed in a special urn or container for the family and loved ones of the deceased.

There are many myths and rumors about cremation that are simply untrue, but one thing is certain – some religions do not align with cremation, instead opting to bury the departed. Let’s explore the various religions of the world and their stance on cremation. 

Religions and Their Beliefs on Cremation

Here are the common religions around the world and where they stand on cremation. 

Atheism: No stance on cremation. 

Anglican: Cremation is accepted.

Baptist: Accepted by the Baptist faith before or after the funeral.

Buddhism: Cremation is traditional for Buddhists. Some family members may choose to witness the cremation. 

Catholicism: Cremation is acceptable for Catholics after the Funeral Mass, but the religion prefers the ashes not to be scattered. Instead, they should be kept in a sacred place.

Eastern Orthodox: Cremation is forbidden.

Hinduism: Cremation is preferred. Many of the Hindu faith leave the deceased at home until cremation occurs. Hindu babies, children, and saints are the only exceptions to cremation.

Islam: The Muslim community prohibits cremation. Burial is preferred for the Islamic faith. 

Jehovah’s Witness: Cremation is accepted.

Judaism: As there are different branches of Judaism, some believe cremation is acceptable, while others believe it’s prohibited. Orthodox Judaism, for example, believes the body should remain in the ground. 

Lutheran: No official position on cremation exists in the Lutheran church.

Methodist: In more recent years, cremation has been accepted in the Methodist church.

Mormon: Mormons believe the decomposition of the body should be left to nature. However, there is no official stance against cremation. 

Presbyterian: Traditionally, the Presbyterian faith does not accept cremation. 

Quaker: There is no official position on cremation in the Quaker faith. 

Why do some religions prohibit cremation?

Every religion has its own beliefs and customs. For the majority of religions that prohibit cremation, they do not believe in the desecration of the human body. Many churches prefer the traditional burial process for the deceased.

Can a funeral still be held for someone who chooses to be cremated?

Yes! A traditional funeral can be held before or after the cremation takes place. Whatever the end-of-life wishes of the individual state is what is acceptable. For many, cremation is just one part of the funeral, similar to lowering the casket into the ground. 

Dignified Cremation Ceremonies at Hollywood Forever

Cremation is widely accepted throughout the world, and many opt for this as part of their end-of-life wishes. Hollywood Forever is home to a 50-acre cemetery, including a crematory, where you can hold your ceremony. 

Since 1928, we’ve offered simple cremation services reflecting an individual’s personal beliefs and values. Contact us today for more information.


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