19 August 2010

Baptism Site of Jesus Christ

The Baptism Site of Jesus Christ is just a short drive from Amman. Considered to be one of the three holiest Christian sites, this is where the earthly ministry of Jesus started and by extension is the spot where Christianity began. Several other significant events also occurred here. The Israelites, led by Joshua, crossed into the "Promised Land" here. From this site Prophet Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire and St Mary the Egyptian and other early Christian holy people lived and died here. Many Christian churches are situated at the Baptism Site and others are being built.

This site has been recognized as the real (and only true) site where Jesus was baptized by all the major traditional Christian Churches and has been visited by many Christian leaders including the late great Pope John Paul II . Many churches of different Christian denominations are situated there or are in the process of being built now that, after the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, it is no longer a military border zone. Many other world leaders, Christian and non-Christian have also visited the site.

The Baptism Site on the Jordan side of the Jordan River is one of the most important recent discoveries in biblical archaeology. It was only after the 1994 peace treaty with Israel that excavations began. Already more than twenty churches, caves and baptismal pools dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods have been unearthed.

The site is now a legally protected National Jordanian Park operated by an independent board of trustees appointed personally by His Majesty, King Abdullah II, who considers its maintenance an honor and a sacred trust for future generations.

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