Sweden has opened its first “atheist cemetery” devoid of all religious symbols to accommodate the nation’s massive nonbelieving population.
Though the man who came up with the idea, Josef Erdem, said he proposed the project because he wanted people to “decide for themselves what their graves should look like,” in point of fact people who want a cross or star of David on their graves will have to be buried elsewhere. The new graveyard has a strict policy banning religious symbols of any sort.
To add to the irony, the Church of Sweden will manage the upkeep of the graveyard but is not allowed to express its core beliefs in any way on cemetery property, which is located in Borlange in central Sweden.
Sweden is the least religious nation in the Western world, with nearly 80 per cent of the population identifying either as “not religious” or “convinced atheists,” according to the most recent study carried out by polling firm WIN/Gallup International.
Sweden has been chiefly Lutheran since the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, and until the year 2000, the Lutheran Church of Sweden was the official state church.
Although Christian practice in the country is at an all-time low, mosque attendance has been rising steadily thanks to growing numbers of immigrants arriving in Sweden from Muslim countries in recent years. Sweden has been referred to as the “world’s capital of asylum seekers.”
According to reports, Sweden’s mass immigration has radically transformed many Swedish cities, leading to the development of Muslim-controlled “no-go zones” where law enforcement fears to enter.
Anti-Sharia activist Pamela Geller said the Swedish government is essentially losing control of its own territory.
“The no-go zones exist, contrary to blanket mainstream media denial and demonization of anyone who dares to say that they do exist,” Geller said. “These are areas where Muslims respect only the Shariah, not the law of the land. And they’re growing.”
In these areas, Muslims “believe that they can act with impunity, without fear of any consequences from the government or police,” she said.
In certain parts of Sweden, police have stated that up to 25 per cent of their time and resources are spent on incidents involving migrants, and last month the Swedish government announced a further two billion Swedish Krona for policing to 2020.
And although religious symbols are not allowed in the country’s newest cemetery, Sweden recently legalized the display and use of the Islamic State battle flag.
* * *