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Jewish communities have existed in Algeria since the 1st century C.E., and have lived under Moslem rule since the 7th century. Refugees from the Spanish Inquisition swelled the Jewish population in the 15th century, making the country an important center of Sephardic Jewry. In 1830, when Algeria became a French colony, Jews were granted French citizenship by the Cremieux Decree of 1870. During the seven-year political struggle leading to Algeria’s independence in July 1962, the Great Synagogue of Algiers was looted and many Jews were killed. Due to heavy emigration to France and some to Israel, the Jewish community declined from 135,000 in 1958 to 100 in 2007. Most live in the capital, Algiers.

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