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AFP
October 3, 2019

Descendants of Spain’s exiled Jews seek nationality

World

AFP
October 3, 2019

MADRID: More than 500 years ago, they faced a bleak choice: convert to Catholicism or be burned at the stake. The only other option was exile.

For Jews living in Spain at the time, 1492 was a year burned into historical memory when their community of at least 200,000 people were forced into exile. Now, more than five centuries later, over 132,000 of their descendants have taken advantage of a limited-term offer of Spanish nationality that expired on Monday.

The law, which was passed by parliament in October 2015, sought to address what the government has described as a "historic mistake" by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Known as Sephardim -- the Hebrew term for Jews of Spanish origin -- many of the exiles fled to the Ottoman Empire or North Africa and later to Latin America.

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