Marranos were Spanish and Portuguese Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula who converted or were forced to convert to Christianity during the Middle Ages, yet continued to practice Judaism in secret.
The term specifically refers to the charge of Crypto-Judaism, whereas the term converso was used for the wider population of Jewish converts to Catholicism, whether or not they secretly still practised Jewish rites. Converts from either Judaism or Islam were referred to by the broader term of "New Christians."
Converts were monitored by the Portuguese and Spanish Inquisition and subject to suspicions by Catholics of the secret practice of Judaism, also known as "Marranism".
In modern use "marrano" is sometimes, but not always, considered offensive; and "crypto-Jew" is occasionally preferred in scholarly works.
- Spanish Inquisition - Including on less politically correct views.