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The Karimi were originally a Persian Sufi class of Cuman merchants who controlled the trade routes through Crimea (Persian: Karima) where they interacted with Romaniot Jews of the Karaite persuasion. They were known for being Karaitizers. Their leaders believed they had Israelite ancestry and moved to Lithuania in 1396 where they became known as the Karaims. Some of them descend from the proto-Molokan Keraites who arrived in the lands of Old Rus' with Batu Khan's Tatar invasion.