The year of the two thousandth anniversary of Christ’s baptism is drawing near. Jordan wants to raise around USD 100 million for the special event. The intention is to offer the spiritual Christian pilgrims a special ambience.
Inhalt / Content
Spiritual experience for Christian pilgrims
A country that is almost entirely (Sunni) Muslim, with a share of around 94 percent, is planning the special celebration of the (alleged) baptism day of Jesus Christ. Jordan plans to invest around $100 million to attract as many Christian pilgrims as possible to the 2000th anniversary of Jesus’ baptism in 2030. A good 1 million arriving pilgrims are targeted, so Christian Today.
For this purpose, the Jordanian government established a charitable foundation for the expansion of infrastructure in the “Bethany beyond the Jordan” area. This region is believed to be the spot where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. This region, including the old monastery in Al-Maghtas, was declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 2015.
The pilgrims should be offered a valuable time of “spirituality” at the place of baptism. For this purpose, the Jordanian government wants to build a site with a village ambience. A complex with 5-star hotels is out of the question. The “biblical village theme” is intended to “recreate a 2,000-year-old experience,” according to the head of the foundation, Samir Murads.
Arabic ambience on the Christian theme
Instead of luxury accommodation, there are glamping-style facilities, i.e. tents with appropriate equipment and beds. “We will supply Arabic-style tents and all sanitary facilities that give a sense of authenticity,” says Murads. This brings the theme in line with the goal of the pilgrims to experience a spiritual time in the “holy place”. This was ensured, among other things, by the underground energy and internet lines, so that the “above-ground experience” was not disturbed. Accommodations are provided at “reasonable cost”.
But then it can be a bit of luxury
As far as the accommodation is to be kept in upscale camping style based on the Arabian model, there are still plans for multi-star hotels, shopping districts, museums, wellness centers and restaurants. The pilgrims should be given the opportunity to “spend a special quiet spiritual time”.
The first part of the project is expected to cost around $15 million and will be completed in 2023. The expansion of the “special amenities” with an estimated volume of 85 million dollars will follow in the further phases.
No more than spiritual wellness pilgrims
An oriental holiday with the “good feeling of Christian spirituality”. The estimated costs for the marginal infrastructure alone show where the focus of the Christian event lies within a Muslim country. The “Christian pilgrim” in the spiritual phase in the middle of the wellness center probably doesn’t care that the anniversary celebrations will be 3 years too late in 2030. After correcting the (actually known) calendar error, the year of Christ’s baptism does not fall on the year 2030 but on the year 2027. As paradoxical as it sounds, the year of Jesus’ birth is not the year zero, which does not exist anyway, but 3 BC. Also visible in the graphic biblical chronicle.