Coronavirus is Changing the Rituals of Death for Many Religions

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted religious rituals around death and dying all over the United States and the world. This article discusses examples of the coronavirus’ impact on death and burial rituals within Christian and Muslim communities in Iraq. It also address how Hindu and Muslim burial practices have been limited due to COVID-19. The Islamic ritual of washing of bodies has been most impacted in places like Iraq, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. Other examples given include those who practice Sky Burials in India, such as some Tibetan Buddhists, Parsis, and Zoroastrians. Families in China were unable to pick up the ashes of their loved ones but were allowed to partake in the Tomb Sweeping or Qingming Festival, which honors and venerates family ancestors. Jews around the world, and particularly in Israel, have had their rituals of shiva and the prayer of the kaddish curtailed due to the requirement that a group of people present.