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Religions in Switzerland Bern creates cemetery for Buddhists

A ceremony was held on Tuesday for Buddhists at the Bremgarten cemetery

A ceremony was held on Tuesday for Buddhists at the Bremgarten cemetery in Bern to inaugurate the special final resting place

(Keystone)

Bern has become the first Swiss city to set aside a special final resting place for Buddhists. 

Around 150 guests attended a ceremony at Bremgarten cemetery in the Swiss capital on Thursday.

In 2016, there were around 37,000 Buddhists living in Switzerland, many originating from Thailand.

The city’s government has set a goal of offering members of the world’s five biggest religions appropriate funeral services according to their needs.

Christians and Muslims can already be buried at the Bremgarten cemetery. A Jewish cemetery is also available in Bern. The next step is to create a special place for Hindus. People of no religious faith can be buried in all three cemeteries in Bern. 

+ Read more about the different religions in Switzerland

Most of the Swiss population (8.4 million) are Christian. Catholics remain the biggest faith group - 37% of permanent residents in 2016, down from 47% in 1970. The percentage of Swiss Protestants has fallen since 1970 from 49% to 25% in 2015. The other biggest religious communities include Muslims (353,000), Hindus (38,000) and Jews (17,000).

SDA-ATS/sb

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