There was a time when Spain was home to a thriving Jewish community. Jewish people were contributing to Spain’s culture and economy. Some called it a Golden Age for the Jewish community. Most of these Jews spoke Ladino. This is a dialect of Castilian Spanish, with Hebrew and Turkish elements. Then came the Alhambra Decree in 1492, which gave Spain’s Jewish population the choice of conversion to Roman Catholicism, expulsion or death. A small number remained in Spain and “converted” to the Catholic religion. Most of them left the country, often settling in Mexico or South American countries like Bolivia.
Early Spanish speaking Jewish settlements in Bolivia were part of the mining industry in Potosi. They were falsely accused of converting local people to Judaism. There was such a backlash that many moved to Santa Cruz. There were other waves of Jewish immigration, but most of these were from non-Spanish-speaking countries.
There are very few Jewish people in Bolivia, but most live in La Paz. There are smaller Jewish communities in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
In South America, Jewish executives have been extremely successful. However, the more successful the Jewish executive in South America becomes, the greater tendency he may have to be assimilated into the Christian European society. There have also been waves of anti-Semitic incidents that have led to Jewish people leaving South America. The Jewish population in the 2020s, which was already small, was in the process of moving elsewhere.
For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. Orthodox Jews generally follow the traditional religious beliefs and practices found in the Jewish literature that interprets Scripture regarding ethical, religious, civil, and criminal matters.
Reform Jews do not believe that the Jewish Law is divinely revealed. They are not restricted to kosher foods. They neither wear the skullcap (yarmulke) when praying nor use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jews look for a personal Messiah.
Many Jewish people today retain cultural Judaism, but they have rejected the spiritual elements taught in the Old Testament. They might participate in cultural events and even religious ceremonies, but they are either secular or New Age in their spiritual lives.
Jewish people have a wonderful understanding of their connection with the Abrahamic Covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who has fulfilled that covenant. They tend to view Christianity as the religion of their oppressors rather than the fulfillment of what God promised all of humanity through Abraham centuries ago. This is especially true for those in the Spanish speaking world.
* Scripture Prayers for the Jew, Spanish-speaking in Bolivia.
Pray for the Lord to give the Jewish people in Bolivia hearts that will want to please him. May they look to the Lord for guidance and truth, and not be satisfied with cultural traditions.
Pray for Jewish people in Bolivia to want a personal relationship with the Lord.
Pray for Jewish people in Bolivia to begin a movement to Jesus Christ, finding ways to exalt him while honoring their culture.
Pray for the Lord to raise up loving, patient ambassadors to go to the Spanish speaking Jews.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Jew, Spanish-speaking|
|People Name in Country||Jew, Spanish-speaking|
|Natural Name||Spanish-speaking Jew|
|Population this Country||500|
|Population all Countries||285,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Hakitia; Ladino; Spanish Jew|
Primary Language: Spanish
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1543-1999)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching (Global Recordings Network)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament (Faith Comes By Hearing)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament - Biblia de América (Faith Comes By Hearing)|
|Audio Recordings||Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)|
|Audio Recordings||Oral Bible stories in Spanish|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||Father's Love Letter|
|Film / Video||God's Story Video|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Spanish|
|Film / Video||LUMO film of Gospels|
|Film / Video||Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)|
|Film / Video||Rivka (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)|
|Film / Video||The Hope Video|
|General||Four Spiritual Laws|
|General||Gospel resources links (Scripture Earth)|
|General||Got Questions Ministry|
|General||Open-licensed Bible stories on mobile app|
|General||Walk with the Prophets and meet the Messiah|
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|