10 Things You Didn’t Know About Judaism in Africa

Written by Keren Mikva

Timbuktu, Mali, has a Jewish population

During the Spanish Inquisition, Mali — then part of the Songhai Empire — experienced a large influx of Jews fleeing persecution. However, when Askia Muhammed came to power in 1492, he forced the majority of these Jews to convert to Islam, and Judaism became illegal in the country. Fear of persecution persisted until modern times. It is only recently that these ancestral ties became the subject of discussion.