Cremation strictly prohibited in Kuwait, PH Embassy tells Filipino community

Published April 19, 2021, 4:09 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has advised the Filipino community that the method of cremation or burning the remains of a person is strictly prohibited in Kuwait.

This advisory was relayed by the Embassy following reports that the Kuwaiti authorities rejected the requests made by Buddhists and Hindus to cremate the remains of their dead in Kuwait. 

An official from Kuwait City Funeral Affairs said in a report that those who want to cremate corpses should instead take them to their country of origin for the appropriate rites based on their own customs, tradition, and religion. 

It is against Islamic customs and law to embalm or cremate remains, hence these services are not available in Kuwait. 

Kuwait banned cremation in the early 1980s in line with Islamic teachings.

It was not clear if the Philippine Embassy advisory on cremation is somehow related to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) fatalities in Kuwait. 

According to the latest data posted by online COVID-19 monitoring platform Worldometer, Kuwait has a total of 256,987 confirmed cases with 1,448 deaths and 240,465 recoveries. 

While there is no available data on the actual number of COVID-19 cases among Filipinos in Kuwait, the number of deaths among overseas Filipinos in the Middle East and Africa remains to be the highest among the four geographical regions in the world. 

As of April 18, 2021, the Middle East and Africa registered a total of 730 fatalities, followed by the Americas with 229, Europe with 130, and Asia and the Pacific with 26.

From August to October last year, the Philippines has repatriated more than 300 remains of Filipinos who died of COVID-19 infections in Saudi Arabia alone.