The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is located about 25km east of Jerusalem, along the border between Israel and Jordan. About half of it is actually in Jordanian territory.
For the Christian tourist in particular, the Dead Sea is an important historical location. Though the Dead Sea itself is never mentioned in the New Testament, the sea and its surrounding area holds many insights into Christian history. A few miles north of the Dead Sea, at the shore of the Jordan River (the Dead Sea’s only water source), lies the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. It is considered one of the most sacred Christian sites in the Holy Land. Recently, the Israeli government has been working to have the baptism site, Qasr al-Yahud, open to the public without need for prior coordination. Each year in January, the Epiphany Festival, celebrating the Wise Men’s visit to Jesus, is held at the site, and during Easter, Mass is conducted there, with thousands of Christians in attendance. Christian Holy Land tour groups often make an effort to attend these events.