Congolese Jews
French, Hebrew

The history of the Jews in the Republic of the Congo dates back to at least the 17th century, when Black Jewish communities existed along the Congolese coastline. The contemporary Jewish community is small.


In the seventeenth century a Black Jewish community existed on the Loango coast in the Kingdom of Loango, in what is now the Republic of the Congo and Gabon. This community was first mentioned in 1777 and a more thorough description was provided by the scientific works which were produced by the German Loango Expedition of 1873–76. This community had no links with Jewish communities elsewhere and has now disappeared. According to Tudor Parfitt, these communities were of considerable interest to race scientists during the period of the European Enlightenment.[1] The Jewish community in the region may have been of Iberian Sephardi origin. Some European maps from the 17th century designate the Loango coastline as the Gulf of the Jews, golfo do judeus or golfos dos judeos. According to the Moravian missionary Christian Georg Andreas Oldendorp, the Black Jewish community in the Loango region was established by Jews from São Tomé who had been expelled and that it was from this population of exiles that "the black Portuguese and the black Jews of Loango, who were despised even by the local black population, were descended."[2]

According to a 2021 report from the United States Department of State, there was a small Jewish community in the Republic of the Congo and no reported instances of antisemitic acts.[3] The Congolese Jewish community has no synagogue.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Parfitt, Tudor (2020) Hybrid Hate: Conflations of Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Semitism from the Renaissance to the Third Reich. New York: Oxford University Press pp.64-75
  2. ^ Homelands and Diasporas: Perspectives on Jewish Culture in the Mediterranean. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2018. p. 9.
  3. ^ "2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Republic of the Congo". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2023-03-17.
  4. ^ "LOCATING THE BUILDINGS AND JEWISH COMMUNITIES". Sub-Saharan African Synagogues. Retrieved 2023-03-18.