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Baha'i burial likely

July 23 2003
Abingdon, Oxfordshire

David Kelly's family is likely to bury him in accordance with the Baha'i faith he adopted four years ago, after being told yesterday that his body would be released this week.

Dr Kelly, 59, became interested in the faith, which began in the Middle East, during his travels as a United Nations weapons inspector and adviser to the British Government on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. He is believed to have embraced its teachings in California. His wife, Janice, and their three daughters remain members of the Church of England.

Barney Leith, secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'i faith in Britain, said: "Baha'is locally are in touch with the Kelly family to discuss the arrangements for the funeral, but no final decisions have been taken."

Baha'is do not have cremations, with the body usually buried wrapped in five pieces of silk and wearing a special ring on a finger. The faith follows the teachings of Baha'u'llah, who was born in Persia in 1817 and who is regarded by followers as the latest, but not the last, messenger of God. The central theme of the Baha'u'llah message is that humanity is a single race that must be united in one global society. Dr Kelly was an active member of the local Baha'i community, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, near the Kelly family home in Southmoor.

©Copyright 2003, The Age (Australia)

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