by Adventist Today News Team
The CBS television affiliate in Youngstown has reported that an Adventist man in the area has offered space in a burial plot that his family owns in Crown Hill Cemetery, Vienna, Ohio, so that the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev can be buried. The Adventist man told a television journalist that he believes God wants him to do this, although he does not want his name reported.
The man "believes in a strict interpretation of the Bible," CBS News stated, "particularly Jesus' call to love your enemies." He told reporters that he hopes that some good might come from his offer.
Tsarnaev "can no longer hurt anyone," he was quoted by CBS News, "and perhaps God can use this act of kindness to change somebody else's mind and keep anyone else from harming or trying to harm someone … anywhere else in the world." He stated that he understands that some people would be upset by his offer, including members of his own family, "but it is the right thing to do."
Tsarnaev's body is still being held in a funeral home in Worcester, Massachusetts. A number of elected officials have stated that they do not want him buried in the state, even in an unmarked grave inside the walls of a state prison where executed criminals have been buried in the past.
"The acts that were carried out in Boston were heinous," the Adventist man in Ohio told CBS News. "I have prayed for the victims. I have prayed for the families of those who lost loved ones."
"Adventists have a different understanding of the state of the dead than the standard view among Christians and others, and this might make it easier for an Adventist to make this kind of offer," a veteran Adventist pastor told Adventist Today. "But I am simply speculating. This man is to be affirmed for taking the teaching of Jesus seriously at a time when it is not politically popular to do so."