Get baptized where Jesus was baptized!

For those following in the footsteps of Jesus, you can now get baptized at the official Jesus baptism site, Qasr al-Yahud, on the Jordan River. The site is currently open only until May 22 (from 9am-3pm daily, free entry) but there is no longer a need to coordinate your visit in advance, despite its location in a closed military zone. The site is planned to be permanently open later in the year, once 7 million shekels worth of preservation work is finally complete.

Qasr al-Yahud is the original baptism site that was once teeming with tourists and Christian pilgrims. The 1967 Six Day War meant the site got cut off strategically and the more commonly known site on the Jordan River, known as Yardenit, next to the Sea of Galilee, was started as an alternative.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Civil Administration were prompted to open up accessibility to Qasr al-Yahud due to the numbers of Christian pilgrims that accompanied Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Holy Land this past week. The Qasr al-Yahud site is the third most sacred place for Christians, after the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. Christians believe that Jesus’ spiritual birth took place at Qasr al-Yahud, after his physical birth in Bethlehem.

How to get there: The site is located north of the Dead Sea. Take Highway 1 (East) to the Jericho bypass road, then turn north on Highway 90, drive approximately 2.5 km (1.5 miles) until you reach a grove, and then turn east in the direction of a sign that says Qasr al-Yahud.

The clip below will give you an idea of what it’s like to be baptized in the Jordan River (at the alternative Yardenit site), close to the site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

16 Comments

  1. Moshe Z.

    May 19, 2009 at 10:31 am

    If you only were aware how dirty the water is in the Jordan…..

  2. Ashley

    May 19, 2009 at 10:56 am

    You’re right, it’s not in a good state but I don’t think that will ever stop the pilgrims from coming.
    This is a good read for those interested: http://www.savethejordan.org/About_the_Jordan_River.asp

  3. Pingback: “The Glory River” « Sister Rita and Sister Gerri Visit the Holy Land!

  4. Elma

    January 19, 2014 at 2:02 am

    I don’t care how dirty the water is. I want to be baptized in the same water that JESUS was baptized in.

    • Jo cross

      April 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Want to baptized in Jordan river be there starting 20th may want some one to take to doit

      • darren

        May 11, 2014 at 9:00 am

        please can you help me with info, my wife and I want to be baptized and where better than Israel.. we want to go but know nothing about how to do it.

        • Ashley

          May 11, 2014 at 10:03 am

          Sent you an email Darren :-)

          • April

            May 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm

            could you send me an email about getting baptized in the Jordan river too!

          • Ashley

            May 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm

            Sent!

          • Minas

            May 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm

            Hi Ashley, would you mind forwarding the email to me as well? Thank you and God bless.

          • Ashley

            May 26, 2014 at 7:17 pm

            Done!

          • Kelli Speer

            June 30, 2014 at 4:24 pm

            Can you send me the email also?
            Thanks!

  5. Angel hendry

    June 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Hi there I want to get babtised here but I have no idea how to go about it can someone let me know ?! Thanks godbless x

    • Ashley

      June 8, 2014 at 6:42 am

      It’s very possible, I actually live fairly close to one of the official baptism sites on the Jordan River. If it is only you and your partner, I think you can go pretty much anytime, you shouldn’t have to book in advance. It’s fairly cheap to do, though I believe there is no minister on site and you have to get one locally (the site can give you numbers of local ministers). The website: http://www.yardenit.com/

      If you feel you need a tour guide to help you, I know a number of great tour guides who specialize in the Christian sites of the Holy Land. It could take your experience to another level. If you do fancy hiring a guide, let me know and I’ll point you in the direction of some guides.

  6. Desmond

    June 22, 2014 at 5:28 am

    I would love to receive the information on being baptized in the Jordan River if you would thanks! God bless!

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