Illustrative image. Image Credit: AFP file

Cairo: Saudi Arabia plans to create cemeteries for non-Muslims to facilitate a swift burial process, a local newspaper has reported.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Municipal, Village Affairs and Housing has directed several affiliated municipalities to create places for non-Muslims to facilitate the swift burial of the non-Muslim deceased instead of transferring them to specific areas like the ones existing in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, Okaz said.

The ministry has set specifications for these tombs different from the ones allocated for Muslims, the paper added, citing what it described as well-informed sources.

Meanwhile, officials at the municipality of Taif in western Saudi Arabia had met with specialists at the Ministry of Health and discussed issues related to the burial process and ways to make it comfortable for relatives of the deceased, the report said.

To this end, efforts include preparing tombs, and giving family of the dead person a possible access to an immediate, electronic death certificate instead of the certificates issued by the Ministry of Health hospitals.

Saudi Arabia, a country of around 34.8 million people, is home to a large community of migrant workers including followers of non-Islamic faiths.

In recent years, the kingdom has experienced dramatic social and economic changes.

In a sign of tolerance, Saudi Arabia has recently allowed public display of decorations and other festive features linked to Christmas, which was once celebrated behind closed doors in the kingdom.