Has Anyone Seen the Church of St. John the Baptist?
Often referred to as the precursor of Jesus, St. John the Baptist is a major figure in the Christian, Muslim, and Bahai religions. He is known as one of the first prophets and Jesus’ teacher, but St. John’s most well-known passion was baptizing anyone who wanted to repent. Of course, the most prominent baptism he performed was on Jesus himself.
Much confusion has been made over St. John’s church. Eager Christians visiting the Holy Land head for Jerusalem to pay homage to this saintly prophet only to be met with bewilderment. Where is the Church of St. John the Baptist? That is the main question we'll address today, and by the end of the article, you'll have more than one beautiful church to visit on your trip.
The Church of St. John the Baptist, Old City
The most famous Church of St. John the Baptist is found in the Muristan compound, that is within the Old City of Jerusalem. This is a little Greek Orthodox church that dates all the way back to 450. The Empress Eudocia erected the structure in honor of St. John the Baptist upon his burial place, and it has undergone several structural changes and ownerships throughout the centuries. This church of St. John the Baptist is known for its beautiful architecture, long narthex, and tall, wide pillars.
The Church of St. John the Baptist, Ein Kerem
But wait, there is another outstanding monument erected in Jerusalem for this prophetic individual, and of course, it is also called the Church of St. John the Baptist. This church was erected by the Catholic Church belonging to the Franciscan order. It was built in this location because Ein Kerem is the place where St. John the Baptist was believed to have been born. To make things even more confusing, both these cities are situated close by within Jerusalem! So you can’t even refer to the site as the Church of St. John the Baptist in Jerusalem.
Now that we’ve clarified that for you, you can enjoy visiting both prominent areas during your trip. Since both Churches of St. John the Baptist are in close range of each other, you can even tour them both on the same day. Make your rounds and see a slice of history come alive today.