Jordan: Religious tourism is the cardinal attention of the faithful worldwide

Submitted by munir on Mon, 06/19/2023 - 10:26

With the end of inclement weather conditions that has been prevailing in Jordan in winter, warm conditions with successive rise in temperatures encourage people to visit Jordan to enjoy the warmth of its weather and the generosity of the noble Jordanian people.


With tourism trips to Jordan expected to reach exorbitant levels, religious tourism on the summer of 2023 is expected to reach high levels.


The religious sites in Jordan are among the notables jewels of Jordan. The unique Christian sites tells  stories that exude holiness and beauty. Such sites are the among the most important sites that need to be visited so as to smell the scent of sainthood and to bring oneself close the land trodden by saints and mostly by Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.


Jordan, which is an integral part of the Holy Land, has recently received a boost in the field of religious tourism when the National Association of Directors of Christian Pilgrimage in France (Association Nationale des Directeurs de Pèlerinages/ANNNP) has announced that their next meeting will be held in Jordan in November 2023 marking its75th anniversary. This announcement made in late 2022 in the French city of Paray le Monial in the presence of more than 180 guides and directors of pilgrimage trips who conduct religious trips from France to countries around the world as well as to Jordan. Actually choosing Jordan to be the venue for the convening of a friendly and foreign association specialized in religious tourism from France on its 75th anniversary provides signals of the world's appreciation to Jordan, a country which represents an integral part of the Holy Land.


People on religious pilgrimages from all over the world are invited to visit Jordan to views the treasures represented in Christian holy sites which are worthy to visit so as to seek the aroma of Christian beauty and to get real-life images of holy land that was blessed by prophets and still remain an icon of beauty and holiness.


Among the major Christian sites is the Baptism Site on the eastern side of the River Jordan. It is the site where Lord Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist.  This site is scheduled to undergo development work which includes preparing places for prayer that includes several churches, and developing the places adjacent to the Baptism Site in order to encourage religious tourism. It also includes providing full accommodation for visitors, as well as promoting activities at the new tourist village which include hotels. Furthermore,  the Grotto of the Nativity has been inaugurated while being located in the vicinity of  the Baptism Site which indicates the connection between the birth of Lord Jesus Christ and His baptism.


Further sites include Umm Qais, a town in northern Jordan near the site of the ancient town of Gadara, is mentioned in the Holy Bible being the location where Lord Jesus Christ performed the miracle of the Gadarene Swine. Then proceeding to Gadara, according to the Holy Bible, is the site where Lord Jesus Christ cured a man of his demons.


Proceeding further south, one can also visit the site where Elijah was born. Elijah was born in Tishbe. which is located in Gilead, east of the Jordan River, in western Jordan, precisely where Tell Mar Elias is.


As for Tell Mar Elias (Elijah), it is located slightly outside the town limits of Ajloun, in the biblical-historical region of Gilead.  On the "Tell", one can see the remains of a Byzantine monastery and two churches dedicated to Elijah that are frequently visited by the faithful. The smaller church was built between the 4th and 5th centuries. The larger one, built in the 6th century and recently excavated by Jordanian archaeologists, is currently considered one of the largest known Byzantine churches built in the country. A mosaic inscription found on one of the church floors explicitly mentions Elijah. 


Another important site is Anjara which is located in the hills of Gilead, east of the Jordan valley where according to Christian sources, Blessed Virgin Mary and Lord Jesus Christ walked the mountain range, which runs along the Jordan, and references state that Lord Jesus, Blessed Mary, and some of His disciples stayed overnight in a cave in the Ajloun mountains nearby during one of Jesus’ trips from Jerusalem to Galilee. 


Tourists arriving in Jordan must not miss visiting Mount Nebo which is very significant because of its role in the Old Testament. The Holy Bible says that Mount Nebo was the site where Moses lived out his final days and saw the Promised Land, which he would never enter. It is said that Moses' body was buried there.


Tourists  visiting Jordan's holy sites will be welcomed by the noble Jordanian people at a time when they will draw a clear image of the  events relevant to Christianity that definitely reflect memories of the beautiful days of the past.

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By Munir Bayouk/