Members of the Mormon Church posthumously baptized Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was beheaded by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. Helen Radkey, an excommunicated Mormon and researcher, told the Boston Globe today that Pearl, who was Jewish, was baptized by proxy in June 2011.
Mormons baptize people from other religions in order to give them access to salvation. However, Jewish and Catholic leaders have publicly said that they are offended by the practice. A 1995 agreement even barred Mormons from baptizing Jewish Holocaust victms, Haaretz reported.
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The Mormon Church received negative press this month when Radkey revealed that it had baptized Holocaust victim Anne Frank ten times.
Pearl's parents told the Globe that they appreciated the Mormon Church's "good intentions" but were nonetheless disturbed by the news. “Danny did not choose to be baptized, nor did his family consent to this un-called-for ritual.”
Pearl, who was the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, had been targeted by the attackers in part because of his Jewish heritage, a kidnapping suspect told Haaretz in 2002. In a video filmed by the attackers shortly before Pearl's death, the journalist affirmed his Jewish faith: "I am a Jewish American from Encino, California....My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I am Jewish."