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Environmental group says poluted Jordan River unsafe for baptisms


jordan river


 by Joseph Ernest August 1, 2010


Newscast Media --  According to the Christian faith, the Jordan River is the place where Jesus Christ was baptised by John the Baptist.  However, an environmental group says the river so many consider sacred, is severely polluted and unsafe for baptismal ceremonies.

Gidon Bromberg of Friends of the Earth Middle East said untreated sewage, saline water and agricultural runoff have contaminated the Jordan and have made its waters toxic.  Bromberg says the explanation for this is that the fresh waters are being diverted by Israel, Syria and Jordan.  Story continues below...


Regional authorities have been asked by Friends of the Earth to terminate baptisms in the lower Jordan until the waters are safe for immersions.  Qasar al-Yahud is a very popular Israeli site that draws over two million Christians a year, and many of these visitors visit the area for the purpose of baptism. Friends of the Earth says the sewage and high levels of coliform bacteria have turned the river into a cesspool unfit for swimming of immersions.

Eli Dror an operative of Israel's Nature and Parks Authority sees things differently. Dror said, "There's absolutely no problem with the quality of the water. People can come and baptize here as much as they want, I guarantee it."

Israel's Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said he was pleased that tourists would be able to continue visiting and using the site safely.   Add Comments>>    







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