Jews back Hindus in asking Mormon Church for apology over Gandhi baptism

Posted by at 19 March, at 15 : 06 PM Print

Jews have supported Hindus in asking The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) for an official apology over proxy baptism of peace icon Mahatma Gandhi.

Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in North Carolina (USA), in a statement in Charlotte, said that it was appalling to note that Mahatma Gandhi, who lived and died a Hindu, had been baptized by proxy by LDS without apparently any request from his living relatives.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on March 17, had said that Gandhi baptism reports appeared in the media on February 27, but the LDS President Thomas S. Monson or its other leaders were yet to come out with an apology and explanation on how this happened despite calls by Hindus. It was insensitive and hurtful to the feelings of about one billion Hindus spread worldwide.

Rabbi Freirich further said that after the recent news of posthumous baptizing of Jewish rights advocate Simon Wiesenthal’ s parents, prominent Jewish victim Anne Frank (Diary of a Young Girl) and now Mahatma Gandhi reports, it appeared that LDS was just baptizing any of our ancestors, whose details they could find, belonging to any religion without the request/will of living relatives. It was very hurtful and just not acceptable, Freirich added.

Jonathan Freirich asked LDS to immediately issue a formal apology to upset Hindu brothers and sisters and assure them that their ancestors would not be baptized without their request/will in the future.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, had argued in his statement that LDS being a responsible organization with over 14 million membership and worldwide presence should show some maturity and transparency in this matter. Besides immediate apology, they should also come up with detailed report on how many Hindus had been baptized without the will/request of their living relatives.

LDS should assure them that they would develop an “effective” mechanism and safeguards to ensure that this would not happen in the future without the will/request of the living relatives, Rajan Zed had stressed. Both Zed and Freirich have pointed out that they would gladly support the LDS endeavors if they made a good-faith effort and organized a meeting of various religious groups to help them set up such a mechanism.

Salt Lake City (Utah, USA) headquartered LDS, also known as Mormon Church, which claims to be a Christian denomination, is one of the fastest growing church.

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