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Christians oppose plans to build mosque in 'Ark of the Covenant' town: This is 'our Mecca'
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Christians - Concerns - Plans - Mosque - City
Ethiopian Christians are voicing their concerns with plans to build a mosque in the ancient city of Aksum, a town that they claim holds the biblical Ark of the Covenant.
Aksum, an ancient kingdom that is now part of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray Region, has long been claimed by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament.
Ark - Chest - Stone - Tablets - Ten
The ark is a gold chest that carries the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Church claims that the Convenient is in the safeguarded at Our Lady Mary of Zion cathedral.
Although Orthodox Christians have declared Aksum to be a sacred town, Muslim groups are campaigning to build a mosque in Aksum. The plans have drawn the ire of the community’s Christians leaders.
Godefa - Merha - Cleric - Lady - Mary
Godefa Merha, a senior cleric at Our Lady Mary of Zion, told BBC that if churches are banned in Islam’s holy site, mosques should not be allowed to exist in Aksum. Merha asserted that the city itself is a “monastery.”
"Aksum is our Mecca," Merha argued. "Aksum is a holy place.”
Merha - Christians - Muslims - Peace - Aksum
Merha explained that although Christians and Muslims live in peace in Aksum, he believes Orthodox Christians will never break the oath passed down from their ancestors to preserve the “sanctity” of Aksum.
"If anyone comes to build a mosque, we will die,” he contended. “It has never been allowed, and we will not allow it to happen in our age. For us it's death. We must live respecting each other the way we have been living for centuries."
Orthodox - Christians - Hymns - Prayers - City
The Orthodox Christians believe that only Christian hymns and prayers should be heard within the city.
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