Prominent Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel wants Mitt Romney to urge the Mormon church to abandon its practice of posthumously baptizing Jews, some of whom died in concentration camps during World War II.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Wiesel said that Romney “should speak to his own church and say they should stop” the practice. “I think it’s scandalous,” he continued. “Not only objectionable, it’s scandalous.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints performs the proxy baptisms in order to “save” ancestors and others who weren’t baptized in life or who were baptized “without proper authority.” Mormons can propose a proxy baptism after a person has died.
The practice came to light in 1994 when an Israeli genealogist researching her family found the name of her grandfather, a religious Jew who had been killed in the Holocaust, in the LDS database of posthumously baptized Mormons. With more digging, a whole slew of prominent names came to the surface, including Anne Frank, Albert Einstein and David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.