Elie Wiesel, the renowed Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, is requesting that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney urge the Mormon church to abandon the practice of posthumous baptisms of non-Mormons.
In an interview with The Huffington Post Tuesday, Wiesel addressed the issue after learning that his own name was placed on a baptism list by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the official name of the Mormon church.
“I think it’s scandalous,” he said. “Not only objectionable, it’s scandalous. I wonder if as a candidate for the presidency Mitt Romney is aware of what his church is doing. I hope that if he hears about this that he will speak up.”
Mormon and Jewish leaders reached an agreement in 1995 for Mormons to end the practice unless it was for LDS members’ related ancestors. After the deal fell through, Wiesel took part in another agreement between the two religious groups in 2010 in which Mormons would not conduct baptisms for Holocaust victims.
However, researcher Helen Radkey indicated that Mormon leaders haven’t followed through on the deal, finding Wiesel and others on a baptism-related LDS database, although their names were not submitted for baptism.
A spokesperson for the Mormon church told the Associated Press that Wiesel’s name was entered by mistake and was removed from the database.