Jerusalem (Jul. 18)
Several thousand Maranos in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, have expressed their desire to return to Judaism. The Maranos, who are a wealthy and influential group, are the descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who were compelled to accept Catholicism during the time of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Inquisition under the leadership of Torquemado. Although they accepted Christianity outwardly, they remained secretary Jews, the tradition being kept alive by their descendants until today.
The application for the return to Judaism on behalf of the Maranos was made by the Jewish community of Lisbon in a letter addressed to the Chief Rabbinate of Palestine, asking advice on the necessary formalities.