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converso

(Spanish: "converted"), one of the Spanish Jews who adopted the Christian religion after a severe persecution in the late 14th and early 15th centuries and the expulsion of religious Jews from Spain in the 1490s. In the minds of many Roman Catholic churchmen the conversos were still identified as Jews, partly because they remained within the Jewish communities in the cities and partly because their occupations (merchants, doctors, tailors) had been monopolized by the Spanish Jewish people. Such identification caused many Christians to regard conversos as a subversive force within the church

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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