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February 23, 2012 8:30 am

Mormon Church Continues its Posthoumous Baptisms of Holocaust Victims with Anne Frank

avatar by Deby Medrez Pier

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Anne and Margot Frank memorial in Bergen-Belsen, Germany. Photo: wiki commons.

At a place of worship of the Mormon Church, Anne Frank was baptized last Saturday, posthumously. This was revealed on Wednesday to the U.S. media by a member of the congregation while the subsequent baptism caused a huge stir in the Jewish community.

Mormons believe that postmortem baptism enables the victim’s soul to go to heaven.

In 1995, the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, announced its suspension of baptisms to victims of the Holocaust.  However, this practice continued taking place.

It was a week ago that Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel condemned the Mormon Church for adding his name to the list of those who would one day become eligible for posthumous baptism.

Wiesel awaits a response from devout Mormon Mitt Romney, to whom he called out to speak out against the practice.

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  • charile

    Does everyone think that there is only one Anne Frank that ever lived in the history of the world?

  • salvage

    Theism in general is a Very Silly Thing but Mormonism is perhaps the silliest. The origin of it makes it quite clear that it was founded by a loony or a liar.

    To be fair however at least there haven’t been any wars fought over it so perhaps in that way it’s the best of a bad bunch.

    Still I don’t quite get the offense taken, who cares what mumbo jumbo Mormons mutter over the dead? It should mean as much to us as it does to them.

    • Edward H

      It is all about respecting our deceased and respecting the families who have suffered the loss. It can often be argued that a funeral is as much about helping the family and loved ones cope as it is a celebration of the life of the one who has come to pass. Baptism is seen as a rite of conversion and while from the Church’s point of view it is an honor, it is however, extremely insensitive to the wants of the deceased and the family

      • salvage

        That’s a fair point but I think this is a case where you can only be offended if you decide to take offense. Now If this were Holocaust denial or some sort of historical revisionism I’d say outrage was more than justified but this? It’s meaningless and not just from my atheist point of view but from the Jewish perspective as well. Jews don’t recognize any other religious ritual in any context (save perhaps marriage but only in the secular legal sense) why should this be any different?

        Oh and any Mormons reading this for $500 now you can say I’m as saved as you like when I’m dead. Cash only please.

  • Deby,

    I don’t know the specific facts of your story – but allow me to share a couple corrections:

    1) The correct name of the church is: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” the term Mormon is a nickname, but when referring to the church in print, it would be more appropriate to use the full name of the church in the first reference.

    2) “Mormons” do not believe “portmortem baptism enables the victim’s soul to go to heaven”. They believe the baptism ordinance, performed with proper authority, is an act of love – following the example of the Savior Jesus Christ – which the deceased would have to accept in order to have any validity. Whether they “go to heaven” is also dependent upon how they have lived their life. Not just a singular ordinance. More info here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/background-explanation-of-temple-baptism

    3) Elie Wiesel was not added to a list of those who would “one day become eligible for posthumous baptism”. He was added to a genealogical database which merely shows his family heritage, and would not have been permitted to be submitted to receive the ordinance per church policy. See statement here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/jewish-names-entered-genealogical-database

    4) Sometimes people break the rules. Sometimes willfully in an attempt to embarrass the Church. The Church does all it can to respectfully safeguard the records and respect the wishes of the families. See this statement: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/violations-of-proxy-baptism-policy

    In Summary.. if this is true either a) a direct decedent of Anne Frank had approval (and a right) to request this ordinance be done *or* someone willfully went against church policy and protections to avoid this type of misunderstanding and will be dealt with accordingly.

    In the end.. Ms. Frank will have the final say.

    • Edward H

      Regardless, the Posthumous baptisms are extremely offensive despite the good intentions. It is every persons right to practice the religion of their choosing and should the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints choose to honor these people that is their right but please do so without baptizing people who lived and died as a member of the Jewish people.