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Medvedev performs ablution in Jordan River

Dmitri Medvedev at the River JordanAmman, January 20, Interfax - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday performed the Orthodox Christian rite of ablution in the part of the Jordan River where Jesus Christ was baptized.

Medvedev plunged into the water three times after leaving an entry in the visitors' book of the sanctuary set up on the site of the baptism of Jesus.

Then he spoke to reporters and proceeded to the construction site of a hotel for Russian pilgrims. He was shown around the site by Kremlin property chief Vladimir Kozhin and head of the Moscow Patriarchate Administration for Foreign Institutions Archbishop Mark of Yegoryevsk.

"Visiting the Jordan River on the Day of Epiphany is a great joy for any Orthodox person," Medvedev said in an entry left in the construction site's book of visitors after seeing the emergent building. The Orthodox Churches following the Julian Calendar observe Epiphany on January 19.

"I am sure that very soon the [hotel] will welcome its first pilgrims. Happy holiday [of Epiphany]," Medvedev said in his entry.

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