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Call for councillors to vote down 'pagan practice' of cremation

A local resident in Newtownabbey has opposed the building of a new facility on the grounds of Christianity and the environment.

Image: Shutterstock/Lorna Roberts

COUNCILLORS IN THE Northern Irish town of Newtownabbey have been encouraged to oppose the ‘essentially pagan practice’ of cremation.

A local man has expresses his opposition on the grounds of being a “ratepayer and a Christian” and in an email sent to members of Newtownabbey Borough Council states that he is opposing the building of a new crematorium on the basis of his “Christian conviction and environmental concern”.

Plans by the council to build the facility in the area have been opposed over concerns they could be an environmental hazard and that local infrastructure would be unable to cope with the amount of traffic going in and out of the facility.

Christian gospel

In his email, the local man, who does not wished to be named, described cremation as:

A pagan practice used primarily in Eastern nations which have over the years had no knowledge of the Christian gospel.

The man goes on to support his argument with a quote from Genisis, before saying, “it is clear that God commanded His people to utterly destroy, by burning all that pertained to idolatrous worship.The burning of idols, images and that which pertained to witchcraft always indicated God’s displeasure.”

He also expresses concern about environmental hazards that such a facility could pose locally as well as the difficulty that narrow roads might have in dealing with the heavy flow of funeral traffic.

Reaction

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, local UUP councillor John Scott, said, “I know the man pretty well and he lives his lives by the Bible. He is entitled to those believes and all the different things he believes in … but we can’t take that into consideration. We can’t do it for the sake of someone’s religious beliefs.”

On the general objections the council had been receiving, Scott said:

[People] don’t want it beside them. There isn’t that many houses up and around where it is – it is part of the rural end of Newtownabbey. What people are looking at is the crematorium that belongs to Belfast City Council which is a bit outdated.

Scott said that members of the council had visited in England as part of the research process and that the new facility would be a modern and secluded from the road by mature trees and bushes.

The reason for the new crematorium is a lack of space in the local graveyards.

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