Israeli Baptism Site to Open near Dead Sea

The new tourist facility opposite Jericho and adjacent to the Jordanian baptismal site (aka “Bethany beyond the Jordan”) is scheduled to open in less than two weeks.  From ICEJ News:

Kasr al-Yehud, the probable site where John the Baptist baptized his cousin Jesus of Nazareth, will be opened to the public with a special ceremony on January 18 after 42 years as a closed military zone which pilgrims could only visit after coordinating with the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria. The site is located in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, but starting on the 18th it will be operated by the jurisdiction of the Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, after Israeli authorities invested millions of shekels to build facilities there to handle a large number of tourists. The 18th is significant because it is the traditional day when Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians make an annual pilgrimage to the site to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, who was instrumental in the project, said he hoped Kasr al-Yehud would become a symbol for cooperation among Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, as it would be a major attraction for tourists who would also want to visit other Biblical sites in the area.

We’ve mentioned this site before exactly one year ago, but apparently it did not open as planned last spring.  In May Ferrell Jenkins posted a photo of the area as seen from the Jordanian side.


6 thoughts on “Israeli Baptism Site to Open near Dead Sea

  1. This site is one of thr holiest places for Christians and I hope it will be opend for the Epiphany cerimony this year.
    Meanwhile the Dead sea itself has been chosen as one of the 28 finalists in the new7wonders campaign (you can vote here http://www.votedeadsea.com )

  2. I like being able to visit the area, but isn't the Jordan basically an open sewer at this point of its run? I certainly would not want to do a baptism there.

  3. It's been possible to visit Qasr el Yahud (entrance is from highway <90>) for some time but I just checked and it has become even easier. The site is now open more hours, Saturday to Thursday from 9:30am to 3:00pm. All that is required is to call them at 02 650-4844 a day in advance and tell them how many people are coming.

  4. The baptism site of Jesus Christ is in Jordan, not Israel! It has been confirmed, and is not "probable" as you mention. There is no doubt that Jesus was baptized in Jordan!

  5. the Jordan river has been cleaned up by Israel spending hundreds of thousands of shekels. the Jordan river at Qasr el-Yehud is now clean to go in (and very very cold) because of the springs upstream. (Of course, this works out well for the Jordanian side as well.) The Israelis have had plans to open this up already in the late 1990s (see the buildings built in 1999 still standing on the south side of the road, not far after the 19thC Russian/Greek monasteries) but it was stymied for over 10 years in red-tape. They reached a compromise: it is a military zone except from 9:30-3:30 Sat-Thur when it is a national park! Good news it is free, clean, and accessible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *