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Jew, Portuguese in Israel

Jew, Portuguese

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
2,000 Portuguese Ethnic Religions 0.50 % 0.10 %   

Jew, Portuguese in Israel

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Introduction / History
In the last 1400s the Roman Catholic Church and Spain were seeking to eliminate any heresy, meaning beliefs that didn't conform to Catholic doctrines. Protestants, Muslims and Jews were persecuted in Spain. Under duress, many "converted" to Roman Catholicism, but this left them open to greater persecution if they were even suspected of practicing Judaism. Many of these Sephardic Jews went to neighboring Portugal, but cruel persecution soon found them.

In 1536 at the request of Portuguese King Joas III, Portugal began what we call the Portuguese Inquisition. In Portugal, the Sephardic Jews were especially singled out for persecution. Some agreed to become Roman Catholics, but even then, they were often persecuted by suspicious Catholic authorities just as they were in Spain. Fleeing to colonies of either country was only a temporary fix; the Inquisition was soon extended there as well. The Jewish people of Portugal were scattered for five centuries. Eventually some made their home in Israel after she became a nation in 1948.

In 1987, Mario Soares, then president of Portugal, asked for forgiveness from the Jewish people in his country for Portugal's role in the Inquisition. In 2015 the Portuguese government offered dual citizenship to the descendants of those Jews who were expelled five centuries earlier. Some have returned to Portugal, but most remain in Israel.

Where are they located?
They are currently a distinct community of Jews, numbering 1,800, located in Jerusalem. They have a synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem.

What are their lives like?
Those Sephardic Jewish people from Portugal are living peaceful lives in Israel. They have preserved traditions from Portugal, including folk songs, proverbs, and food. Some still use Portuguese names but others prefer Hebrew ones.

What are their beliefs?
They practice the Jewish faith, but maintain their ethnic Portuguese identity and language in Israel. Some Portuguese Jewish individuals have given up on God and live secular lives. Some have turned to New Age beliefs. This is also true of many other Jewish people groups in Israel.

What are their needs?
Numerous Christian resources are available in Portuguese, such as Bibles and presentations in print, audio and video. However, many Jewish people feel that Bible believing Christians are a threat, and evangelistic activities are opposed in some Jewish quarters. There are now Bible training colleges in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel. Portuguese Jewish background believers can attend these colleges.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to open the minds of the Portuguese Sephardic Jews to listen to the gospel message and embrace their true messiah.
Pray that Portuguese speaking evangelicals will feel called to minister to these Sephardic Jews in Jerusalem.
Pray for a disciple making movement among Sephardic Jews in Israel to spread far and wide.


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Country: Israel
Continent: Asia
Region: Africa, North and Middle East
10/40 Window: Yes
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Jew, Portuguese
People Name General: Jew, Portuguese-speaking
Alternate People Names:
Portuguese Jewish
ROP3 Code: 108133
Joshua Project People ID: 14451
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 2,000
Population all Countries: 97,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Jews
People Cluster: Jews
People Name General: Jew, Portuguese-speaking
Ethnic Code: CMT35
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Portuguese (2,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): por    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Religion Sub-division:Judaism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.50 %(Evangelical: 0.10 %)
Ethnic Religions96.50 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent20.00 %
Protestant20.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic60.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1505-2004
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1751-2017
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus film: view in Portuguese
Film / VideoLove letter to you from scripture
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoRivka video
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoWalking with Jesus video
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralOpen-licensed Bible stories on mobile ap ...
GeneralWalk with the Prophets and meet the Mess ...
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterBible Gateway scripture
Text / Printed MatterBible: Portuguese
Text / Printed MatterBible: Portuguese
Text / Printed MatterBible: Portuguese
Text / Printed MatterBible: Portuguese
Text / Printed MatterCartoon Gospel tract
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Portuguese
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Jew, Portuguese in Israel

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Jews     Africa, North and Middle East    
      Jew, Portuguese-speaking Israel    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Jew, Portuguese in Israel          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Portuguese  
    All Religions                              

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