Portugal declares official commemoration day for Jewish inquisition

MPs have approved the passage of a law to officially commemorate the Inquisition of the Jews in Portugal on March 31 every year. The date was chosen because it was that day in 1821 that the Inquisition in Portugal -started 275 years previously – was officially disbanded.

Reconectar, an organisation seeking to reconnect descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities forced to flee their homes has welcomed the development, in the hope that it will serve as another tool to awaken interest in Jewish communities still disconnected from any knowledge of their ancestry.

Said the organisation’s president Ashley Perry (formerly Perez) with any luck “this day will create greater awareness of this dark chapter of Jewish and Portuguese history, which still casts a giant shadow across the world”.