The Spanish Inquisition was an ecclesiastical tribunal started in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. As an ecclesiastical tribunal, had jurisdiction only over baptized Christians. The Inquisition worked in large part to ensure the orthodoxy of recent converts.
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It was part of the wave of Inquisitions, commonly called "witch hunts" nowadays. In Spain, however, these persecutions were not as intense as some other European countries. Though originally intended to have jurisdiction over Christians, Spanish Inquisitors, in reality, took a much broader scope, persecuting Lutherans, "Old Christians" as well as "new," and anyone they considered to be "heretical."