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Baptism Site Christmas tree lights up

By Muath Freij - Dec 13,2015 - Last updated at Dec 13,2015

The 12-metre Christmas tree is lit at the Baptism Site, 40km west of Amman, during a ceremony on Sunday (Photo by Muath Freij)

BAPTISM SITE — Jordan is a unique example of Muslims and Christians living together in peace, Bishop Munib A. Younan said on Sunday.

Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation and head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, described celebrating the approach of Christmas as a national day that brings Muslims and Christians side-by-side. 

He made the remarks during the lighting of a 12-metre Christmas tree at the Baptism Site, located some 40km west of Amman.

Tourism Minister Nayef Al Fayez and Amman Mayor Aqel Biltaji attended the ceremony. 

“It is a national feast where Muslims and Christians of all Jordanian sectors come from churches and from the mosques,” Younan told The Jordan Times during the celebration.

Organised by the Lutheran Church in Jordan, the event included a meeting that brought together representatives of the Lutheran sect from around the world for the first time in Jordan, Baptism Site Commission Director Diaa Madani said. 

He noted that the Baptism Site is the right place to host such a celebration because of its religious value. 

“It is one of the holiest sites in the world for Christians. It is where Jesus Christ was baptised by John the Baptist,” Madani added. 

Younan said the site, also known as Bethany Beyond the Jordan, is the centre of the "biblical story". 

The site was recently inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List — becoming the fifth Jordanian location to receive this honour. 


“What the world needs is a message of peace based on justice and especially justice for Jerusalem because there cannot be justice in the world without justice for Jerusalem,” Younan added.

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