September 1, 2018
Situated in the eastern bank of the Jordan River and surrounded by pristine natural resources, the Al-Maghtas (“The Place of Baptism”) is revered by locals and tourists as the actual baptismal site of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity.
Based from the extensive work of religious scholars, contemporary archeologists and church leaders, the Al-Maghtas has long been recognized by the early Christian pilgrims, dating as far back as A.D. 530, to be the site where Jesus Christ received the Holy Spirit marking the birth of Christianity. Among its staggering evidence were the archeological findings that confirmed the remains of five churches built on the same spot as early as the 5th century as a memorial of Jesus’ baptism — this despite the area being remote and prone to natural calamities such as flooding and earthquake.
Biblical passage also pinpoints “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” (John 1:28) as the location where Jesus came to John, “to be baptized by him” (Matthew 3:13).
The site was only rediscovered after the Israel-Jordan peace treaty during a mine-clearing operation, which exposed the ancient riverbed revealing a cruciform baptismal pool — the only cruciform baptismal font that uses flowing water of the Jordan River for baptism.
In 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee recognized the historical relevance and religious significance of the Al-Maghtas.