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Old Christians who were in any way associated with New Christians were also attacked.The mob attacked the tax-farmer João Rodrigo Mascarenhas, a New Christian; although a wealthy and distinguished man, his work also made him resented by many. Within 48 hours, many "conversos" were killed; by the third day all who could have escaped, often with the help of other Portuguese.He claimed that members had managed to survive more than four centuries without being fully assimilated into the Old Christian population.
One derives from Arabic مُحَرّمٌ muḥarram; meaning "forbidden, anathematized".
A New Christian who tried to explain the miracle as due to natural causes was dragged from the church and killed by an infuriated woman. Friar João Mocho and the Aragonese friar Bernardo, crucifix in hand, were said to have gone through the streets of the city, crying "Heresy!
" and calling upon the people to destroy the conversos.
Under state pressure in the late 14th and early 15th century, over half of Jews in the Iberian Peninsula converted to Christianity, thus avoiding the Decree of Expulsion which affected Spain's remaining openly Jewish population in 1492.
The numbers who converted and the effects of various migrations in and out of the area have been the subject of historical debate.
In 1974 for The Marranos of Portugal, the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) sent reporter Ron Ben-Yishai to carry out interviews with families about their religious practice.