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Maranos

Maranos

A term that generally referred to the "secret" Jews of Portugal and Spain in the fifteenth century, who converted to Christianity when their religion was outlawed, but who continued to practice their religion in the privacy of their families. The existence of such Jews was amply demonstrated by Jews who migrated and soon afterward reemerged to practice publicly the Jewish faith. The term was also applied to a Jewish secret fraternity that arose in Spain in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Its members met in the greatest secrecy at inns, and used grips, signs, and passwords (see Freemasons' Magazine 3 [1860]: 416).

The term "marranos" (hogs) was used contemptuously at the time to denote Moors and Jews.

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Marranos

Marranos (from Span., ‘swine’). Baptized Jews of Spain and Portugal, i.e. anusim, or forced converts. Jews in Spain were forced to convert to Christianity in 1391 and in Portugal in 1497. These ‘new Christians’ were always suspected of harbouring their original faith and were renowned for their reluctance to eat pork. Particularly after the introduction of the Inquisition into Spain in 1481 and into Portugal in 1536, many Marranos fled abroad. Marranos lived undisturbed in many Protestant states. In Roman Catholic countries, their situation was far more precarious, and in most places they had to maintain the semblance of Catholicism.

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Marranos

Marranos (mərä´nōs): see Sephardim.

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