AJC Welcomes Renewed Mormon Efforts to End Baptisms of Holocaust Victims

March 7, 2012 – New York – AJC expressed appreciation for the renewed commitment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to prevent proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims and other well-known Jews.

The LDS Church leadership’s mandate comes in the wake of recently reported proxy baptisms of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and prominent Jewish Holocaust victims. The First Presidency of the Mormon Church has reiterated, in a letter read at LDS Church congregations worldwide, a 1995 policy prohibiting the submission of such names for baptisms.

“We applaud the LDS Church efforts to insure that all Mormons follow its policy of prohibiting posthumous baptism of Jewish Holocaust victims and celebrities,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. “LDS leaders have stated clearly to us that this banned activity will not be tolerated."

The Church leaders' letter, which was also posted on LDS meetinghouse bulletin boards, states, “Without exception, Church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims.” Members who violate the policy will forfeit their genealogical search privileges, the letter stated.