20 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 07/28/2011
ISRAEL - JORDAN
Israel will reopen (Israeli) site of the baptism of Jesus
Qasr al-Yahud, was closed for several decades. Now mine clearance, and restoration are completed. A particularly dear place to the Orthodox. But on the eastern shore there is al-Maghtas, a site visited by Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI and is more likely to be the true place of the baptism of Christ.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The site on the west bank of the Jordan, where a tradition says that Jesus was baptized has reopened to the public after 44 years of closure. Qasr al-Yahud (the castle of the Jews) had been closed and abandoned since the 1967 war. Following this the Israeli army has mined the area, and built an electric fence to the west of the site, to prevent infiltration from Jordan. There were several monasteries in that area, but the monks abandoned them. In the 1980s, it was possible to reach the river bank through a narrow passage, and baptisms took place again, the army allowed small groups to go to site, by prior arrangement. In practice, the visitors came only during Christian holidays.

Qasr al-Yahud is particularly important for Eastern Churches. At the feast of the Epiphany the place is crowded with pilgrims dressed in white who participate in the baptismal rite. Now thanks to the de-mining, and restoration, the site will be open to all, on a regular basis, and this course will have a beneficial effect on the local economy. The site belongs to the Ministry for Tourism, although the head of the department, Stas Misezhnikov was not present at the opening ceremony, instead he was replaced by the Minister for Regional Development, Shalom.

Many scholars think that Jesus was baptized in Qasr al-Yahud, just south of the famous Allenby Bridge, the main passage between the two banks of the Jordan. But there is another site with a great tradition of ancient Christian presence, however, and is on the east bank of the Jordan. It is called al-Maghtas (baptism, or immersion in Arabic) and is what many consider the true place of the baptism of Jesus, following UNESCO excavations in the area. Al-Maghtas would be consistent with the story of the Gospel of John (1:28), who speaks of Bethany beyond the Jordan, and there are tales of ancient pilgrims, in addition to the finds of the excavation (ancient chapels and churches) that validate the hypotheses, of course, defended by the Kingdom of Jordan. This site was visited by Pope John Paul II in March 2000 and by Benedict XVI in May 2009.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/23/2013 RUSSIA
Thousands of faithful line up in Moscow to venerate the Cross of St. Andrew
by Nina Achmatova
01/19/2008 HOLY LAND
No immersion in the Jordan River for the Orthodox celebration of the Baptism of Jesus
04/23/2008 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Land mine threat: no baptisms in the Jordan
02/10/2009 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Israeli elections: rain, uncertainty, fears of Palestinians
by Joshua Lapide
12/17/2008 PALESTINE
Thousands of pilgrims in Bethlehem for Christmas. But life remains difficult for Christians

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.