The Inquisition in Goa was not set up to target local Muslims, but
rather exiled Portuguese “degredados” who worked for the new
In 1498 A.D, 20 percent of the citizens of Portugal were of Jewish origin, a number close to 200.000. Jews in Portugal who did not convert to Catholicism were forced into exile. Those who
accepted to go through a process of conversion, were always treated
with suspicion. Many were accused of secretly conducting Jewish rituals and prayers.
The Inquisition of Portugal was established in Portugal in 1536 A.D.
24 years later, the Goa tribunal was set up for the purpose of punishing the “heretics”. Those who had left Portugal for a new life in Goa, men
who were not considered “proper Catholics”, but accused of being
“Judaizers”. Among the accused were those who mixed Catholicism
with Moorish rites and traditions. The Inquisition tribunal in Goa was gradually turned into a land-grab mechanism. Both rich Jewish merchants and rich local Hindus were persecuted. The synagogues of Old Goa did not survive 252 years of Inquisition. The Jewish settlement
ceased to exist. Xavier expired in 1552 A.D, before the inquisition was enforced in 1560 A.D.