Spain passed law awarding citizenship to descendants of expelled Jews

Jun 15, 2015 14:00 IST

Spain’s Lower House of Parliament (Congreso) on 11 June 2015 approved a law that eases the path to citizenship for descendants of Jews who were forced to flee the country five centuries ago. Several Jews flee away from the country during the Spanish Inquisition.

Tens of thousands of Jews were expelled in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition, who were forced to convert them to Catholicism or were burnt at the stake.

The new law will allow holding dual citizenship rights for Jews with Spanish ancestry those whose can trace their roots to the expelled Jewish community, also known as Sephardic Jews. This means that such Jews with Spanish ancestry can apply for a Spanish passport from October 2015.

The new law that will grant a right to hold dual citizenship to Sephardic Jews is presently granted to people from its former colonies and neighbouring Portugal and Andorra.

Spanish Inquisition
The Inquisition was a Roman Catholic tribunal for discovery and punishment of heresy, which was marked by the severity of questioning and punishment and lack of rights afforded to the accused.

Spanish Inquisition started in 1481 after Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand wrote a petition to the Pope asking permission to start the process in the country as they felt that Jews are influencing the Spanish peoples. During the inquisition Conversos (Secret Jews) and New Christians were targeted because of their close relations to the Jewish community, many of whom were Jews in all but their name.

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