Forced Conversion - Judaism


Forced conversions are rare, but are reported to have happened under the Hasmonean Empire. The Gentile Galileans, Samaritans and Idumaens were forced to convert to Judaism, (either by threats of exile, or threats of death, depending on the source.) For the forced conversion of the Idumaeans under John Hyrcanus, see Flavius Josephus Antiquities 13.257-258. For the forced conversion of the Ituraeans under Aristobulus, see Flavius Josephus Antiquities 13.319. In Eusebíus, Christianity, and Judaism Harold W. Attridge says that “there is reason to think that Josephus’ account of their conversion is substantially accurate.” He also writes, “That these were not isolated instances but that forced conversion was a national policy is clear from the fact that Alexander Jannaeus (ca 80 BCE) demolished the city of Pella in Moab, “because the inhabitants would not agree to adopt the national custom of the Jews.” Josephus, Antiquities. 13.15.4, 397

Maurice Sartre has written of the "policy of forced Judaization adopted by Hyrcanos, Aristobulus I and Jannaeus”, who offered "the conquered peoples a choice between expulsion or conversion,”

And in 'The early Roman period, Volume 2', William David Davies has written that. “The evidence is best explained by postulating that an existing small Jewish population in Lower Galilee was massively expanded by the forced conversion in c.104 BCE of their Gentile neighbours in the north.”

Read more about this topic:  Forced Conversion

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