Photo by Getty Images.
Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was captured and killed by terrorists in Pakistan following the Sept. 11 attacks, was posthumously baptized last year by the Mormon Church.
The Boston Globe reports that Helen Radkey, an excommunicated Mormon who regularly combs through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints archives, found that the slain Jewish journalist had been baptized by proxy on June 1, 2011, at a Mormon temple in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Radkey has voiced similar discoveries about the controversial church practice in the past. She broke the news that Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal and Anne Frank have also been on the baptism list.
A spokesman for the Mormon church told the Los Angeles Times that Pearl’s posthumous baptism was a breach of protocol. But Daniel's father, Judea Pearl, told the Times that no one from the church had contacted him to apologize for the proxy baptism, which is common practice in the Mormon religion.
Pearl's parents have since expressed their concern to the church.
"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 pair wrote in an email to the Globe. "He lived as a proud Jew, died as a proud Jew and is currently facing his creator as a Jew.... 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 announcement follows an uproar last month about the discovery that Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel had also been posthumously baptized, despite the fact that the 83-year-old Nobel Laureate is still very much alive. The church has since acknowledged the baptisms of Holocaust victims and survivors as a "serious breach of protocol."