Like the vast majority of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, nearly everyone in the town of Axum in Ethiopia believes the lost biblical Ark of the Covenant is hidden away in a stone chapel on the grounds of their largest church, where it has been safeguarding Ethiopia for nearly 3,000 years.

Thousands flock to churches in Axum and throughout Ethiopia for Timkat, an Ethiopian celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ. At the center of the festivities are ?tabots,? tablets kept in every Ethiopian Orthodox church that symbolize the ark.

?I can understand that outsiders are skeptical? about the ark, says Mersa Belay, head priest of Axum, 370 miles north of Ethiopia?s capital, Addis Ababa. ?They do not have our faith.?
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