Some Jewish leaders are outraged by a practice they say echoes the forced conversions of centuries past.
What do George Washington, Albert Einstein and Stanley Ann Durham (Barack Obama's mother) have in common? Mormons have baptized each of them by proxy, performing a temple rite they believe gives human beings a posthumous opportunity to obtain salvation.
Researchers recently discovered that Mormons had similarly baptized the parents of famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, whose mother died in a Nazi extermination camp in 1942. And one Mormon recently proposed for proxy baptism the still-living Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.
This esoteric practice doesn't always provoke complaints—President Obama refused to comment on his mother's case, for instance—but it has strained Mormon-Jewish relations over the past two decades. Keep reading