Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter murdered by terrorists in Pakistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, has joined the list of famous people posthumously baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to records a researcher uncovered in Utah, reports The Boston Globe
Records show that Pearl was baptized by proxy on June 1, 2011, at a Mormon church in Twin Falls, Idaho, according to Helen Radkey, an excommunicated Mormon who studies the church’s archives.
Pearl, who was Jewish, is among many other Jews, including Anne Frank, and people of other religious traditions, including Mahatma Gandhi, whom Mormon church members have baptized posthumously. Mormons believe posthumous baptism by proxy rites allows deceased people to receive the Gospel in the afterlife.
Pearl’s parents, Judea and Ruth, expressed chagrin about the Mormon action.
“To them we say: We appreciate your good intentions, but rest assured that Danny’s soul was redeemed through the life that he lived and the values that he upheld,” the couple said in an email.
“He lived as a proud Jew, died as a proud Jew, and is currently facing his creator as a Jew, blessed, accepted, and redeemed. For the record, let it be clear: Danny did not choose to be baptized, nor did his family consent to this un-called-for ritual.”
The Mormon tradition has riled members of many traditions, especially Jews because of Mormons’ baptisms of Holocaust victims. A 1995 agreement between the Mormon church and Jews barred the practice, although some Mormons continue to do so.
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