National Post (National Edition)

OUTRAGE AFTER BABY DROWNS DURING BAPTISM

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WARSAW Thousands of Romanians are demanding that the country's Orthodox Church ban the tradition of putting babies' heads underwater during baptism after an infant drowned while being christened.

An online petition has gathered more than 63,000 names following the incident in the northern town of Suceava on Feb 1. According to reports, the priest immersed the six-week-old boy — who had also been born prematurel­y — during the service, but halted when the baby stopped crying and turned blue around the lips.

The child died the next day while in intensive care.

Police have launched an investigat­ion.

The death has caused anger in Romania against the Church, and prompted calls for it to discontinu­e the ancient tradition.

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