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Ethiopia mosque ban: ‘Our sacred city of Aksum must be protected’

For Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christians, the ancient city of Aksum is a sacred place, home to the Biblical Queen of Sheba and Ark of the Covenant.

The ark is believed to contain the 10 commandments handed down to Moses by God, and is said to be under the guard of monks in the city.

Some Muslim groups are campaigning to build a mosque in the city – a suggestion rejected by Christian leaders, saying they would rather die.

“Aksum is our Mecca,” declares senior cleric Godefa Merha, who believes that just as churches are banned in Islam’s holiest site, mosques cannot exist in Aksum.

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