News Release

Church and Jewish Leaders Resolve Concerns Over Baptisms

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jewish leaders issued the following statement today:

"Goodwill and friendship have marked the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Jewish people. The support that the state of Israel has given the Church in helping establish the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies is appreciated and continues to foster greater understanding between us.

"Over the years, survivors of the Holocaust have pointed out to the Church that its practice of posthumous proxy baptism has unintentionally caused pain due to the inclusion of names of those who perished in the Holocaust. As a result of dialogue and extraordinary efforts of the Church, computer systems and policy initiatives have been put in place that resolve this issue, which is greatly appreciated by the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, the result of which will be felt throughout the world.

"It is gratifying that the good faith efforts undertaken over the years to deal with an important issue of sensitivity to the Jewish Holocaust survivor community have eliminated a source of tension between our two groups, enhancing our ability to cooperate, including in important programs of humanitarian aid across the world."

Deseret News story

The Jewish Week story

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