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Rival Muslim sects were formed after his death

632 - 634 EMPEROR HERACLIUS (Byzantine Empire)

Forced baptism on North African Jewish communities. This was probably the first case of officially sanctioned forced baptism. Until this time Jews were protected by Theodosian Law which protected them from forced conversions, though it imposed limitations on Jewish freedom. Once breached there was no longer any hesitation on the part of Christian leaders to use forced conversions as a political tool whenever they wished.


Under the presidency of Saint Isidore, Bishop of Seville, King Sisenand renewed Sesbut's (612-620) decrees. Forced conversions were denounce but Converts (even if forcibly baptized) were forced to adhere strictly to Christianity and were forbidden to socialize with unbaptized Jews. Children of unbaptized Jews were baptized to be taken from their homes, and raised as Christians. This cannon was to be used numerous times over the next 1200 years by the church to justify the removal of children from non Christian parents (See 1858).

634 - 644 OMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB (Arabia)

Second caliph. Omar is credited with laying the groundwork for the Islamic legal system and calendar. Omar, as part of his belief in spreading Islamic rule, conquered Egypt, Eretz Israel, Syria, and Mesopotamia. Despite this, and his later "pact", he was known for his tolerance and is viewed benevolently by Jewish tradition.

636 GAZA (Eretz Israel)

The principal Jewish community in Byzantine Judea, was conquered by Omar.

637 CAESAREA (Eretz Israel)

After a 7-month siege, a Jew named Joseph led the Moslem attackers through a tunnel to capture the city. There were an estimated 100,000 Jews in Caesarea. After the fall of the city, the anti-Jewish tenets of the Pact of Omar was enforced against them.


The pact is often ascribed to Omar I (Umar ibn al-Khattab), the second successor to Mohammed, although most historians believe it was only attributed to him by Omar II (Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz) an Umayyad caliph (r.717-720) known for his extremism. The pact determined the place of Jews in Moslem society. Jews were not allowed to build new synagogues, had to pray quietly and were forbidden from preventing other Jews from converting. They were also forbidden to ride horses or hold judicial or civil posts. In order to be easily distinguished from Moslems, they were eventually forced to wear a yellow patch (850), a practice the Christians later adopted. They were also banished from "Holy Arabia". In many Moslem countries (Saudi Arabia) some of the aspects of the pact are still in effect today.

638 JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Omar accepted the Christian surrender and agreed to the Christian Patriarch Sophronnas' demand not to permit Jews to return to Jerusalem. Despite his agreement he soon allowed 70 Tiberian families to settle in Jerusalem.

638 January 9, SIXTH COUNCIL OF TOLEDO (Spain)

King Chintilla decreed that only Catholics were permitted to live in Visigothic Spain. Despite this ban, many Jews continued to live there. In addition, it was enacted that each King had to swear to continue a policy of “not permitting the Jews of infringing this holy faith.” Only two of the rulers, Chindaswinth (r. 642-653) and Witiza (c.687-710) were more lenient toward their Jewish subjects. rnrn

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