Modern Orthodox church at the Jordan River near Bethany Beyond the Jordan; Shutterstock ID 44420413; Your name (First / Last): Lauren Keith; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Content Asset; Full Product or Project name including edition: Jordan 2017

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Whatever one’s religious persuasion, it’s hard not to be moved by this minimal pile of ruins lying at the end of the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea. This is the site, archaeologists assure us, where John the Baptist preached, where Jesus was baptised, where the first five apostles met, and where, thereby, the foundations of the early Christian faith were laid. They chose an auspicious spot, as many also believe this was the place from where prophet Elijah (who was born in Mar Elias in north Jordan) ascended to heaven in a whirlwind.


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