Cremations to Reach 70% This Year

      January 11, 2010 11:06

      Cremations are increasing by 3 percent a year, and Korea is headed for the 70 percent cremation rate of advanced countries this year.

      In 1970, when Korea was still under strong influence of Confucian cultural tradition, the proportion of people who chose cremation over burial was just 10.9 percent. By 2008, it was 61.9 percent. Shin Seung-il, an official at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said, "With the current pace, the cremation rate will be 70 percent or so this year."

      A Ministry official said many European countries with a Christian culture such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Denmark show a 70 percent cremation rate. Here, 70 percent "means cremation is becoming the standard funeral culture," he added.

      The Ministry plans to make it possible for non-hospital, small and independent funeral halls to build cremation facilities. It also plans to announce ways to promote cremation.

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