Friday 07 October 2022

Officials gave millions of death registrations to Mormon church

The Dutch bureau for genealogy has handed personal and privacy-sensitive information relating to millions of Dutch citizens to the Mormon church in Salt Lake City, Trouw reports on Wednesday.

The bureau has admitted handing over copies of the death registrations of everyone who died in the Netherlands between 1939 and 1970, the paper says.
The card system was used before the introduction of the centralised births, marriages and deaths registry. The cards include details of whether or not someone had been in prison, had had psychiatric help or lived off social security benefits as well as the names of partners and children.
The archivist responsible for the decision to hand over the information to the Mormons has since retired. The director of the bureau told Trouw the organisation considers the Salt Lake City archive as a reserve. ‘Imagine if our own collection was damaged by fire or water,’ Leo Voogt is quoted as saying. ‘Then those copies will be useful.’
Nevertheless, such an agreement would never be made now, given the different attitude to privacy these days, Voogt told the paper.
In May, Trouw reported several members of the Dutch royal family have been posthumously ‘baptised’ into the Mormon church.
Church documents show prince Claus, prince Bernhard and princess Juliana were all ‘baptised’ as Mormons after their deaths. Mormons believe the proxy baptism ritual allows deceased people from other religions to enter the afterlife.
In addition, the paper reported 12 Dutch provinces received an offer from the Mormon church to digitally scan all their births, marriages and deaths records for use on computers, free of charge.
However, the aim of this is to collect more names to baptise by proxy, the paper said at the time.
Is this a real worry? Have your say using the comment box below.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.