Portugal approves memorial day for Inquisition’s victims

Reconectar welcomes the decision by the Portuguese Parliament to create a National Memorial Day for the victims of the Inquisition.

By World Israel News Staff

Reconectar, the movement to reconnect the descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Communities with the Jewish world, issued a press release welcoming the decision by the Commission for Culture, Communication, Youth and Sports of the Portuguese Parliament to approve the creation of a Memorial Day for the Victims of the Inquisition.

It will held around March 31, the date of the abolition of the Inquisition in 1821.

“This is an extremely important step by the Portuguese Parliament and one that clearly demonstrates the Portuguese authorities’ intention to look critically at its past and show the Jewish world that it is seeking atonement for this reign of terror against our people,” stated Ashley Perry (Perez), president of Reconectar and director of the Knesset Caucus for the Reconnection with the Descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Communities.

“We see this, along with the citizenship law and the general outreach to Jewish communities around the world, led by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, as positive moves to ensure a strengthened relationship between the Portuguese and Jewish people based on our common history, culture and ancestry,” Perry said.

“The Inquisition was one of the most evil regimes that negatively affected our people in a way perhaps like no other, because it was during this period of time that our people were disconnected, whose reversal, in some small way, is only being seen now in the 21st Century.”

Reconectar is assisting in the reconnection of the tens of millions of people in North and Latin America, Europe and elsewhere, who are discovering their Jewish ancestry, the organization said.

Modern technology, Internet, and genealogy and DNA advances have generated massive interest in discovering hidden Jewish roots, and millions are seeking solutions, Reconectar explained, adding its willingness to assist those who wish to reconnect.

“The State of Israel and the Jewish world should follow the Portuguese lead and institute a day of commemoration for the victims of The Inquisition,” Perry continued. “Far too little is known about this dark period in our history and it is vital that it is better understood so that we can relate better to the descendants of its victims and extend to them a familial embrace should they seek a reconnection with our people, homeland and traditions.”