Mormon Church apologises for posthumous baptisms of Holocaust victims

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The Mormon Church has apologised after members of the religion performed posthumous baptisms into Mormonism of the dead Jewish parents of famed Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal.

The baptisms “by proxy” were performed last month in Mormon temples in Utah, Arizona and Idaho, according to the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organisation named after the man who hunted down more than 1,000 Nazi war criminals in the years following the Holocaust.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told Reuters the baptisms were “unacceptable,” adding that people who lost everyone and everything and were murdered for being Jewish during the Holocaust should not have their souls hijacked by another religion.

The Mormon Church, formally called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, permits dead people to be baptised into the religion, with the belief that the dead person “in the next life” can then choose to accept or decline the baptism. In these baptisms, a current Church member is baptised on behalf of a dead person....

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