But today, the Jordan river is contaminated. There are monasteries and churches along its shores. Hundreds of pilgrims come here to be baptized without knowing they are entering risky waters.
That’s how Zalul, an Israeli environmental organization, paints the picture of the Jordan today. For ten years, Zahul has worked to protect Israel’s beaches and rivers. During the Pope’s trip to the Holy Land, they asked him to help turn the Jordan back to its “original biblical beauty.”
According to Zalul, the kibbutz, factories and fish farms are at fault for the current situation of the Jordan. They say that since the construction of a dam in the Sea of Galilee, waterflow has decreased significantly. Along one of its more visited spots, the width of the river has shrunk by 50 %.
Zalul has launched a website called savethejordan.org as a platform for their global campaign. The site has detailed information on the Jordan river’s current situation, as well as information on helping the cause. Visitors can also sign the letter to the pope asking for his support.