CONTROVERSY

UNESCO: Jordan Site Of Jesus’ Baptism

UNESCO has backed Jordan’s eastern claim to Jesus Christ’s baptismal spot over one by the West Bank, saying it is “is believed to be” the authentic location and designating it a World Heritage site. Jordan’s bid was backed by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Lutheran Christian churches, while other religious groups say “both sides are holy sites.” The decision is a boost for Jordan, which has seen declining tourism since the Arab Spring uprisings and the nearby expansion of ISIS. The western side is also not without controversy, as its location is under Israeli military occuption. The Israeli-run site will likely continue to draw larger crowds, however, as it is a traditional stop on the Holy Land pilgrimage trail.