Baptism Site

Bethany beyond the Jordan

A rich heritage

Jordan is a country of vast geographic diversity and great natural beauty. Founded on one of the oldest, continually inhibited locations on earth, dozens of civilisations have passed through Jordan’s lands at the heart of ancient trade routes linking Europe, Africa and Asia.  

From the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth; the ancient Roman city of Jerash; the Nabatean red-rose city of Petra; to dozens of sites with historical and religious significance; Jordan has a rich heritage to explore and enjoy. 

Jordan as a tourist destination offers its visitors a wide range of activities, ranging from adventure and ecotourism to leisure and wellness, in addition to the chance to get to know and interact with its vibrant and hospitable culture and people.

Tourism in Jordan is the second fastest growing sector, the largest export sector and a major employer. In 2012, tourism generated $3.5 billion, a 15.3% increase from 2011, despite political instability in the region.


Bethany beyond the Jordan

After archeologists discovered and uncovered 21 ancient sites, including five baptismal pools from the Roman and Byzantine periods, a Byzantine monastery, 11 Byzantine churches, caves of monks and hermits and lodgings for pilgrims, top scholars and religious leaders concluded that this is the Biblical site of Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John baptized Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).

Every year, tens of thousands of visitors from all different denominations and faiths make a pilgrimage to Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John the Baptist lived for 20 years. 

In January 2000, on Epiphany, more than 40,000 people gathered at Bethany beyond the Jordan, along with leaders from 15 world churches in a massive pilgrimage. Marking the second millennium of Christ’s birth, Saint Pope John Paul II held a Holy Mass at the site for 25,000 worshippers. The event was broadcast live around the world.

A nature reserve with flora and fauna referenced in the Bible, Bethany beyond the Jordan is preserved just as it was over 2,000 years ago. It is still under excavation.