What is a Crypto Jew?

The word  “Crypto” originates from the  Greek kryptos (κρυπτός) meaning “hidden”. The term usually is used to describe  descendants of Jews who secretly maintained their Jewish traditions while outwardly adhering to the accepted religion of whatever society they were living in.

From the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD the Jews found themselves culturally and religiously in very precarious circumstances throughout the Middle East and Europe where they were scattered and often enslaved. While their plight differed greatly depending upon where and under what circumstances they resided the practical truth was that it was often necessary for Jews to hide their true heritage even if they had genuinely converted to Christianity .

It is important to remember that, in the Roman Empire, Christianity was considered just a sect of Judaism. It was not until Christianity become the official religion of the Empire, with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD, do we begin to see a sharp cultural distinction between Jews and Christians. In some respects this Imperial alteration can be seen as the tipping point of dominance of one Jewish sect over all others as well as the dominance of one Christian sect over all others. From this point onwards the gradual religious transformation of the Old Empire accelerated until the Roman Imperial Church dominated civil and cultural life in all of Europe. All other religious traditions and practices were forced to tread a dangerous path….and secrecy was the only key to survival.

This predicament was shared by not only those still practicing Judaism but by Jewish and Arab Christians who were genuine in their conversion or had come from a completely separate Christian tradition than that of the Roman Church. As evidence of this complex state of affairs we only need to look at the trial records (preserved at the Vatican Library) of the Inquisition, which officially began in the 12th century and continued unabated for 700 years.

On June 6th, 1391, a program of forced expulsion and conversion was launched in Renaissance Spain. “Limpieza de sangre” or “cleanliness of blood” was the ultimate aim of these programs. Laws were enacted to permanently purify the “Old Roman Christians” of the tainted blood of those with Muslim or Jewish ancestors. This process of so-called blood purification later extended of course to all indigenous people of the New World and resulted in forced conversions and extermination of millions of Native Americans.

There is a general misconception that conversion to the Roman Church meant anything like full acceptance by the Church or “Christian Society” in general. This is where the word “Converso” comes into play, a term often associated with Crypto Judaism. Converts (Conversos) with Jewish ancestry were considered “macula”, a Latin term meaning tainted or spotted. As discussed in “The Chamberlain KeyMacula was my grandmother’s maiden name and was never a true surname at all but rather a label placed on certain families to ensure they did not intermarry with others of non-Jewish ancestry.

In 1920 the Nazi party published their The 25-point Party Program, outlining their intention to purge “Aryan” society of the tainted blood of the Jews and to strip them of their legal and civil liberties. After a brief period of relief from the Programs of the Inquisition Europe was once again plunged into a frightful period when the Jewish people, and true Christians who sought to aid and protect them, would be compelled to hide their true ancestry and faith or suffer the dreadful consequences.

Today, because of the advancement of human DNA analysis, we live in a world where it is impossible to be a Crypto Jew or a Crypto “Anyone” for that matter. If we do not courageously stand up for the freedom and liberty of all races and peaceful faiths we may find ourselves on the wrong side of some insane Program.




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