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Memorial Day established to recognise victims of the Inquisition

jewishlogoSomewhat late in the day, Portugal’s parliament has approved plans to recognise victims of the Inquisition. A memorial day will be established for March 31st, the anniversary of the end of the Inquisition in 1821.

Reconectar, a movement to reconnect with the Jewish world the descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities that forcibly were converted to Catholicism, welcomed the establishment of the memorial day which has been confirmed by Portugal’s Commission for Culture.

“This is an extremely important step by the Portuguese Parliament and one that clearly demonstrates the Portuguese authorities’ intention to look critically at its past and show the Jewish world that it is seeking atonement for this reign of terror against our people,” commented Ashley Perry, the President of Reconectar and the Director of the Knesset Caucus for the Reconnection with the Descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Communities.

Perry, (Perez), added, “We see this, along with the citizenship law and the general outreach to Jewish communities around the world, led by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, as positive moves to ensure a strengthened relationship between the Portuguese and Jewish people based on our common history, culture and ancestry.”

“The Inquisition was one of the most evil regimes that negatively affected our people in a way perhaps like no other, because it was during this period of time that our people were disconnected, whose reversal, in some small way, is only being seen now in the 21st century,” said the Reconectar president.

An Israeli government report has suggested that around 95 million people worldwide have Jewish ancestry, including tens of millions of descendants of ‘Anusim,’ sometimes referred to as Marranos, or Conversos, - Jews from the Iberian Peninsula who were forced to convert to Catholicism.

Reconectar offers help and information to people in North and Latin America, Europe and elsewhere who are interested in researching their Jewish ancestry.

“The State of Israel and the Jewish world should follow the Portuguese lead and institute a day of commemoration for the victims of the Inquisition,” Perry said.

“Far too little is known about this period in our history and it is vital that it is better understood so that we can relate better to the descendants of its victims and extend to them a familial embrace should they seek a reconnection with our people, homeland and traditions.”

The Portuguese Inquisition was established in 1536 at the request of its King João III. 

In the period after the Medieval Inquisition, it was one of three different manifestations of the wider Christian Inquisition along with the Spanish Inquisition and Roman Inquisition.

The Portuguese version was terminated in 1821 by the "General Extraordinary and Constituent Assembly of the Portuguese Nation."


0 #2 Jonah 2019-03-17 12:15
"Victims". You mean heretics?
+1 #1 Martin Jones 2018-12-06 08:28
Like Portuguese Justice and Policing today the random, arbitrary nature of winners and losers and the influence of bribes and personal favours in the Inquisitions was the main driver towards embedding Protestantism in the northern EU. Henry 8th just piggy backed on it. But the different mind set these religions encouraged (or limited) is clearly noticeable in the differing values and priorities of the EU today.