PORTUGAL - 23,000 Jews Naturalized

Arno Froese

Portugal has granted citizenship to about 23,000 people who applied under a 2015 law granting citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews.

About 25,000 of applications were submitted in 2019 alone, many of which have not yet been processed.

Both Portugal and Spain passed laws in 2015 granting citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews, measures both governments said were intended to atone for the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition.

The window for the Spanish law was supposed to close last year, but has been extended until further notice. The Portuguese law is open-ended. In both countries, the task of vetting applications has been handed over to local Jewish organizations.

-www.jpost.com, 7 November 2020

Arno's commentary

According to Google, the Inquisition started in 1231, when the pope first ordered “Inquisition into Heretical Depravity.” But this type of expulsion of Jews was not limited to one country, but practiced all over Europe. Now, wherever the descendants live, they have the right to receive the citizenship of the country—in this case, Portugal. The Spanish Inquisition began in 1478, authorized in a papal bull under the authority of Pope Sixtus IV. Estimates range from between 30,000 to 300,000 people being killed. It was not until 1808, when Napoleon conquered Spain, that he ordered the Inquisition to be abolished.

Why do Jews desire Portuguese citizenship? It is an EU country, and that is the most sought-after passport in the world. All of Europe is immediately open, and for those residing in Israel, that is extremely beneficial.

In the background, however, there is more to it than meets the eye. Prophecy must be fulfilled. When Moses speaks to the children of Israel about the Promised Land, we read, “A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:12). He gives the promise in verse 24: “Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.” This, incidentally, explains the chaos in the two countries north of Israel: Syria and Lebanon. Much of that area is Arab-occupied Israeli territory.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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