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Mormons limit genealogical access to stop baptisms of Shoah victims

(JTA) — The Mormon Church is restricting access to its genealogical records relating to Holocaust victims in a move to protect their names from posthumous baptisms.

"The church is committed to preventing the misguided practice of submitting the names of Holocaust victims and prominent individuals for proxy baptism," church spokesman Michael Purdy said this week, according to The Associated Press. "In addition to reiterating its policy to members, the church has implemented a new technological barrier to prevent abuse."

Access to names flagged as not eligible for proxy baptism would be denied, according to Purdy.

The move comes amid embarrassing revelations that Holocaust victim Anne Frank and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal had been baptized in Mormon temples. The baptisms fly in the face of a church policy prohibiting proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims unless requested by one of their descendants.

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