Friday, June 22, 2018

Mormon church to warn members of proxy baptisms

SALT LAKE CITY — Mormon church leaders say the church's policy of not performing posthumous baptisms of Holocaust victims and others unrelated to its members will be reiterated worldwide during Sunday services.

The announcement this week follows outrage over recent claims that Mormon temples posthumously baptized the family of Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal, along with Anne Frank, a Jewish teenager forced into hiding in Amsterdam during the Holocaust and killed in a concentration camp, and other notable Jewish figures.

"Without exception, church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims," reads a letter sent to church leaders around the world.

The Anti-Defamation League on Friday applauded the extra step to educate members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jews are particularly offended by an attempt to alter the religion of Holocaust victims.

Mormons believe the baptism ritual allows deceased people a way to the afterlife but it offends members of many other religions.

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