The idea was the brainchild of local teacher and member of the local Town Council Josef Erdem. Born and bred in Turkish Kurdistan, Erdem was by his own admission influenced by having friends with an array of various beliefs. Previously, Erdem described himself as an adept of "neutrality and freedom," which is why he can imagine being buried in the neutral cemetery himself.
"Among both ethnic Swedes and immigrants, there are people who do not belong to any religion. There is a need for a neutral cemetery and we thought it was important," Joseph Erdem told Swedish newspaper Dalarnas Tidningar.
The proposal for the neutral necropolis was presented in the spring, and all formalities with the Church of Sweden, which maintains the graves, have now been settled.
According to Erdem, Sweden can ultimately become a model for other countries, since there many people today who are neutral and don't belong to "mainstream" religions, such as Christianity, Islam or Judaism.
Sweden, traditionally a Lutheran nation, has in recent years become one of the world's most secular countries, with religion playing an extremely small role in everyday life. According to researcher Karin Kittelmann, atheism is today perceived as "default religion," whereas religious people are commonly regarded as "unintelligent" or "mentally ill," Swedish national broadcaster SVT reported earlier this year.
As for the future residents of the neutral graveyard, they may rest assured that they will be in good company. Swedish tenor Jussi Björling, arguably one of the best in the 20th century and a Borlänge native, is buried at Stora Tuna Cemetery in Borlänge.