anti-semitism, no thank U

Posted on Maj 26, 2008

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Christians unpopular with the church and royal hierarchies.

Many of the ruling Spanish, both secular and religious, viewed Jews with deep suspicion and hostility. (This is admittedly a major oversimplification of a complex history: for much greater detail, see History of the Jews in Spain.)

These suspicions on the part of Catholics were only heightened by the fact that some of the coerced conversions were undoubtedly insincere. Some, but not all, conversos had understandably chosen to salvage their social and commercial prestige by the only option open to them – baptism and embrace of Christianity – while privately adhering to their Jewish practice and faith. These secret practitioners are commonly referred to as crypto-Jews or marranos.

The existence of crypto-Jews was an irresistible provocation for secular and church leaders who were already hostile toward Spain’s Jewry. The uncertainty over the sincerity of Jewish converts added explosive fuel to the fire of anti-semitism in 15th-century Spain.

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