Baptism in Jordan River, Israel

Baptism at Jordan River, Israel

Entering holy waters of the Jordan River for full body immersion

Baptism in Jordan River, Israel, is practiced by many sects and in different formats.

At the newly opened baptism site at the Jordan River, Israel,   Qasr El Yehud,  where the distance between Israel and Jordan is a mere 8 meters, clergy from the Armenian Church aid the high priest Elia to immerse in the Jordan River for baptism. The clergy entered the holy waters from the Jordanian side of the river. Their entourage of clerics and priests also entered the fairly shallow waters of the river. A strong current was visible and only strong swimmers dared to let go of supporting rails.

This site along the banks of the Jordan River is of significance to Christians and Jews.

According to Christian tradition, Qasr El Yehud is where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and the site of the spiritual birth of Jesus.

In Jewish tradition, it is also believed to be the place where the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan River and entered the Holy Land after their 40 years of wandering in the desert.

Greek Orthodox Church, Jordan River, IsraelUntil 1967, the site was controlled by Jordan. After the Six Day War, the area was riddled with mines and too dangerous to enter. A baptism site further north on the Jordan River was used until two years ago, when Israeli authorities were able to allow safe entry to Christians who wished to immerse at the site most closely connected with the baptism of Jesus.

A drive in the area, reveals glorious monasteries and churches, mainly of the Greek Orthodox Church. In the picture above, note the Do Not Enter sign in the lower right hand corner, warning of live mines.

Judy Isaacson is the founder of, a unique travel planning service for self-drive trips in Israel. Her passion for sourcing Israel's best accommodations to suit specific client requirements, as well as treats for foodies from Israel's famed open-air markets: olive oil, goat cheese, spices, and wines to include in Holy Land tours, delivers a very special experience to visitors. Co-founder and publisher of the online magazine, @The Source Israel, her hobby is finding unexpected Israeli delights. As travel planners for visitors to Israel who prefer private self-drive tours instead of group travel, we include intriguing places to stay, adventure expeditions, meet the artist sessions, tours of ethnic communities, ocean kayaking, cave crawling, star gazing, hot air ballooning, and literary tours.

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