Spain: Citizenship process Eased for Sephardic Jews

Spain announced Thursday that it would grant automatic citizenship to Jews of Sephardic descent as a further gesture of reconciliation after their ancestors were expelled more than five centuries ago. Sephardic Jews already benefit from a preferential naturalization procedure that requires them to live in Spain for only two years before claiming citizenship, but the change means that Jews will have to present only a certificate confirming their ancestry to claim a Spanish passport. The government did not say how many Jews it expected to apply for citizenship, but it noted that a large number of Sephardic Jews lived in Turkey and across Latin America. While estimates differ, the number of Jews living in Spain — 25,000 to 45,000 people in a population of 47 million — is only a fraction of the number who lived in the country before 1492, when Jews were told to convert to Christianity or go into exile.
(Tags: Spain, Jews)