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Crypto-Jews are people who while secretly remaining faithful to Judaism practiced another religion which they or their ancestors were forced to accept. Groups of Crypto-Jews came into existence after the forced conversions under the Visigoths in Spain (7th century) and the Almohads in North Africa and Spain (12th century). Other such groups were the neofiti in southern Italy from the end of the 13th to the 16th century, the Anusim in Spain after the persecutions of 1391 and the expulsion of 1492, as well as in Portugal after 1497.

In Majorca, these Jewish converts were known as the Chuetas. A group coerced to adopt Islam were the Jadīd al-Islām in Meshed, Persia, in the 19th century. A different type of Crypto-Jew were the members of the Doenmeh sect in Turkey and Salonika.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.