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418 MINORCA (Balearic Islands off Spain's eastern coast)

Severus, the bishop of Minorca, claimed to have forced 540 Jews to accept Christianity upon conquering the Island. This is the first we know of Jews on this Island as well as the first case of Jews being forced to convert or face expulsion. Although in general forced conversions (as laid down by Pope Gregory I) were officially frowned upon, they were considered valid - and backsliding was usually considered heresy. Harsher "no choice" forced conversions began in the 9th century.




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