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The Eritrean Jewish community is believed to be started by Adenite Jews attracted by new commercial opportunities driven by Italian colonial expansion in the late 19th Century.

During British administration, Eritrea was often used as a location of exile for Irgun and Lehi guerrillas[1]. Among those imprisoned was future Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir[2] and Haim Corfu, a founder of Beitar Jerusalem.

In 1961 the Eritrean War for Independence began after Eritrea was annexed by Ethiopia. It was then that Jews began to leave Eritrea. In the early 1970s, Jewish emigration increased because of ensuing violence between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Eritrea formally gained its independence in 1993 and today, there is only one last native Jew left in Eritrea, Sami Cohen, who attends to the Asmara Synagogue and cemetery.[3][4].

Judaism is not one of the four religions recognized by the Eritrean government.

References

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