The first chief rabbi of Honduras was recognized on Wednesday following the country's initiation of an official chief rabbinate, according to a report by Vosizneisas. The position will be filled by Rabbi Aaron Lankry of Monsey who will be the only religious Jew in Honduras.
The creation of the rabbinate was motivated by economic opportunities to boost the country's economy by increasing the production of kosher certified products which could lead to increased exports.
Honduran Minister of Government and Justice Hector Leon Ayala told VIN News: "This is the first time that Honduras is recognizing a chief rabbi and we are 100 percent willing and able to do so following the national oath of the Republic of Honduras."
Rabbi Lankry is interested in teaching the substantial amount of Hondurans who claim to be descendants of Marannos - Jews who practiced their religion secretly during the Spanish Inquisition to avoid being executed.
“There is a very large community of Marranos located in Honduras and all across Central America,” said Rabbi Lankry. “We are hoping to establish religious courts that will be able to help them and determine if they are really Jewish.”
Rabbi Lankry explained to VIN News that the traditional Christianity of Honduras has been declining which has prompted those who believe they have Jewish roots to research their past.