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Religious Responses to Bereavement, Grief, and Loss Among Refugees

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The multifaceted characteristics of complicated grief and multiple losses that refugees experience when they resettle in North America can intensify bereavement and generate negative impacts not only on individual well-being but also on generational continuity and community cohesion. The ineffectiveness of Western psychological treatments to assist non-Western, non-Christian refugees in mental health distress can be balanced by various religious strategies employed by refugees to facilitate healing, re-create traditional definitions of identity (individual and communal), enhance positive emotional support, and redefine narratives of the past. Buddhist refugees provide an example of the use of such strategies, with clear applicability to the increasing number of other newly resettled refugees in North America.
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Keywords: North American resettlement; bereavement; complicated grief; refugees; religious strategies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: March 4, 2015

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