Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded in Pakistan for being Jewish 10 years ago, was posthumously converted to Mormonism last year, according to records discovered by a former member of the church.
Researcher Helen Radkey, described by the Boston Globe as “an excommunicated Mormon who combs through the church’s archives,” says Pearl was converted during a ceremony in June in Twin Falls, Idaho. The conversion makes Pearl the latest high-profile victim of anti-Semitism — along with Anne Frank and the parents of Simon Wiesenthal — to be converted by the Church of Latter Day Saints after his death.
In an email to the Boston Globe, Pearl’s parents called news of the conversion “disturbing.”
“He lived as a proud Jew, died as a proud Jew and is currently facing his creator as a Jew, blessed, accepted and redeemed. 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,” they wrote.
Radkey is the same researcher who uncovered documents showing that Frank and Wiesenthal’s parents had been converted in separate ceremonies.
Mormon officials expressed regret for Pearl’s conversion. “Whether this is done by simple error or for other reasons, the Church considers these submissions to be a serious breach of protocol,” spokesman Michael Purdy told the Globe.
Beheaded on video by terrorists, Pearl was made to “confess” his background in the moments before his death. His dying words were, “My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish.”