Burial Politics and Intolerance in France

Cluster for the Study of Religious Violence

Burial politics and intolerance seem to have been involved in an incident concerning the burial of a Roma (gypsy) baby during the holidays in France. The mayor of the town of Champlan, where the baby lived and died, allegedly refused her family the right to bury her in the local cemetery.


According to the BBC, “The girl was born in mid-October and died on 26 December of sudden infant death syndrome. The conservative mayor of Champlan, Christian Leclerc, was reported to have refused to bury her. He was quoted by Le Parisien newspaper as justifying the decision by saying that his town was running out of burial space and that ‘priority is given to those who pay local taxes.'”


The refusal to allow the Roma girl to be buried in Champlan has led to outrage by many French people and a political scandal for the mayor of Champlan. Several…

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