- Jun 3, 2020
Churches at the site along the banks of the Jordan river where Jesus is believed to have been baptized could reopen within a year, following progress on a project to clear thousands of landmines and other ordinance from the location.
Pilgrims seeking serenity during a visit to Jesus’ traditional baptism site may be rattled to discover they are surrounded by thousands of land mines left over from dormant Mideast conflicts. But a project now underway plans to rid the West Bank site of the explosive devices, clearing away the relics of war that have blemished the sacred place for nearly five decades.
Although Iraq’s Christians face staggering challenges in trying to return to their homes, the most urgent is what Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako has called the “sneaky hidden enemy in the ground” – landmines, which presently make a safe return all but impossible even in areas where IS has been dislodged.