POMPANO BEACH — A group of black pastors in Florida are demanding Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney address allegations that the Mormon Church performs posthumous proxy baptisms, including one for Holocaust leader Adolph Hitler.
“It is a racist religion and we want him to denounce it,” said the Rev. O’Neal Dozier, senior pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center church in Pompano Beach.
Efforts to reach the Romney campaign for comment were unsuccessful.
Dozier and a group of other religious leaders will hold a press conference on Monday, March 12, they said, to “educate people about what Romney and other Mormons really believes.”
The pastors say Romney’s nomination could lead to a “widening racial divide” in the country. Dozier, a Republican, said if Romney is nominated, it could harm Republicans’ chances of winning election around the country, once Democrats begin running ads about it.
The allegations of racism and the posthumous proxy baptisms were first brought to light by Helen Radkey, a former Mormon. Radkey claims she discovered posthumous baptisms of several people, including Adolph Hitler and serial killer Ted Bundy, while working as a researcher for the Mormon Church.
According to published reports, Radkey said she has now been blocked from church databases.
Mormon officials released a letter regarding the controversy this week.
“The church is committed to preventing the misguided practice of submitting the names of Holocaust victims and prominent individuals for proxy baptism," LDS spokesman Michael Purdy said. "In addition to reiterating its policy to members, the church has implemented a new technological barrier to prevent abuse."
The Florida pastors cite several verses from the Book of Mormon to support their position.
“The Book of Mormon in 2nd Nephi, Chapters 5:21-23 accuses God of cursing African people and causing them to have black skin in order for them not to be attractive to white people,” Dozier alleged. “They also accuse God of causing the black African people to be disgusting and detestable to white people and death to whites who marry blacks.”
The pastors say they will provide additional details at the press conference.
*Pictured above is Rev. O’Neal Dozier, left, and researcher Helen Radkey, right.