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Mormon church responds to criticism of proxy baptisms, restricts access to Holocaust victims
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ' Mormon leaders have put up a virtual firewall in their massive genealogical database to block anyone who attempts to access the names of hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims.
The move comes amid criticism that the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hasn't done enough to live up to commitments to stop its members from performing the baptism ritual on Holocaust victims.
Mormons believe the baptism ritual allows deceased people a way to the afterlife ' if they choose to accept it.
Jews are particularly offended by any attempt to alter the religion of Holocaust victims, who were killed because their beliefs.
Critics say this week's move only serves to keep prying eyes at bay while the practice continues.