Portugal To Offer Passports To Sephardic Jews

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Following Spain’s lead, Portugal announced this weekend that it will grant citizenship to descendants of Portuguese Jews who were expelled during the Inquisition.

The drafted legislation is identical to Spain’s, according to Haaretz. While the principles of the bill are set, the specific wording and criteria still need to be finalized. Spain’s bill provides a large and inclusive definition of who is Jewish, allowing verified descendants who don’t identify as Jewish to apply.

So far more than 800 Israelis have expressed interest in applying for Spanish citizenship.

During the Inquisition, Portugal initially offered Jews refuge in 1492. But less than a year later started persecuting, killing, deporting and forcing conversion upon local Jews.

Written by

Forward Staff

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