The site of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River was officially declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on Feb. 2.
The announcement ceremony, in Paris, was attended by a delegation from Jordan, including Archbishop Maroun Lahham of Medaba, patriarchal vicar for Jordan.
During his speech, Archbishop Lahham defined the site as "a place where the voice of Christ still resounds" in Jordan and that it was considered "a quiet and safe place in the middle of a Middle East in flames," reported Fides, information service for the Pontifical Mission Societies.
"The Gospels said it 2,000 years ago, popular devotion has always confirmed it, archaeological researches have highlighted it, four popes have visited it, and today the international community will declare it officially … that Jordan is in the Holy Land. The Holy Land also and above all includes Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth, but Jordan is not the less holy," he said.
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