The site believed to be where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist is going to be preserved and protected by the Jordanian government, according to CBN News. The site is expected to draw millions of Christians and will cost $300 million to build over the course of six years. A place for Christians to spend quality time, the Jordanian government is developing an authentic experience with a tourist site close to the baptismal area.
The baptismal site will be known as “Bethany beyond the Jordan” and is being developed for the 2,000th anniversary of the baptism of Christ. According to CBN News, “the site lies 31 miles west of Amman, the capital of Jordan, and is mentioned in the Gospel of John in the account where John the Baptist declares Jesus to be ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.'”
The project will include a tourism city adjacent to the site to give pilgrims a place where they can spend more quality time. In developing the baptismal site, the Jordanian government is going to create a “biblical village theme” to preserve the ancient history with an authentic experience. Sam Murad, the chair of the new foundation created by the government, explained that there will be “Arab-style tents” around the site, and more modern attractions including restaurants, souvenir shops, and walking trails will be on the outskirts of the baptismal site.
Architect Kamel Mahadin described how the site will look. “We are talking about rustic stones and pebbles in architectural designs that preserve the place’s pristine nature and ensure that the sanctity and spirituality that existed 2,000 years ago are not trampled on by any development,” he said, adding that a “high-tech landscape” is not part of the plan.
Preserving this special history, the Jordanian government is making sure that the holy site where Christ is believed to have been baptized is preserved in its condition, preventing any other developments from taking away its Sanctity. Christians who visit this site will likely have an experience that helps deepen their relationship with the Lord and their understanding of biblical times.