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Ex-Mormon Borrows Password, Finds Improper Celeb Baptisms - Page 2

Including Marilyn Monroe
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 21, 2017 11:20 AM CST

  • What they are: Proxy baptisms are tied to a core church teaching that families spend eternity together, but the baptisms don't automatically convert dead people to Mormonism. Under church teachings, the rituals provide the deceased a choice in the afterlife to accept or reject the offer of baptism. The ceremonies first drew public attention in the 1990s when it was discovered they were performed on a few hundred thousand Holocaust victims, which Jewish leaders condemned as grossly insensitive.
  • The church makes a move: After discussions with Jewish leaders, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1995 established a rule barring baptisms of Holocaust victims except in rare cases where they're direct ancestors. It also bars proxy baptisms on celebrities. But periodic controversies erupted when new proxy baptisms were found listed in the church's genealogical database, including Radkey's 2012 discovery of one performed on Anne Frank.
  • Safeguards: In recent years, it has implemented additional safeguards, including adding four full-time staffers who watch the database and block baptisms on restricted names, he said. That includes a list of Holocaust victims sent each month by a Jewish human rights organization in Los Angeles.

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