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The Burials Act

Interments are governed by a separate statute, prepared at the same time as the Freedom of Religion Act (2003). The purpose of the Burials Act is to promote the realisation of freedom of religion and conscience in interment, and to ensure that due respect is paid to the memory of the deceased. The main consideration in the Act is to ensure dignity and respect in the handling of the body and ashes and in the maintenance of the cemetery.

Under the Burials Act, the Evangelical Lutheran graveyards will continue to serve as general cemeteries where non-members are also entitled to have a resting place. A grave site must be made available on request to non-members in a separate non-denominational area. Under the new Burials Act, the fees charged for burials must be calculated according to the same principles. Most of the over 1,100 cemeteries in Finland belong to the Lutheran Church. There are Orthodox cemeteries as well, mainly in the eastern parts of Finland. Muslim cemeteries are few but their number is increasing; Jewish cemetery exists in Helsinki.

Updated by Tommi Heino

D 25 May 2017    AKimmo Kääriäinen

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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