Malta should provide land to help raise a Hindu temple for the sake of the communities on the island observing that faith, the Universal Society of Hinduism has said.
Society President Rajan Zed said Malta should observe its own Constitution, which states that ‘all persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship’.
Moreover, Malta is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights; Zed noted.
“As a dominating majority in Malta, Catholics also have a moral responsibility to take care of minority brothers/sisters from different faith backgrounds, and should thus also seek equality treatment for all,” Zed said. “Equality is the fundamental tenet of Judeo-Christian faith, of which Catholicism is a significant part.”
Zed also urged Malta to develop a crematorium as soon as possible, warning the lack of such facilities is forcing Hindu people to bury their loved ones against their beliefs, in which cremation signifies spiritual release, helps serve ties to earthly life and gives momentum to the soul for its ongoing spiritual journey.
Malta legalised cremation earlier this year but a crematorium has yet to be built.
“It is simply heartbreaking for the community to perform something in clear violation of their faith,” he said. “If Malta is unable to provide proper crematoriums, Hindus should be allowed to cremate their deceased on traditional open pyres for which Malta should build a cremation ground near a body of water.”
Zed said Hindus are planning to take up this issue with the EU, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the European Commissioner for Human Rights, the EU and Maltese Ombudsman, the President and Prime Minister of Malta, the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality and the Archbishop of Malta.
Cover photo: Background: A Hindu temple in Singapore, Inset: Rajan Zed