(Shrine where the Ethiopian Ark is housed)
The Orthodox Church of Ethiopia has claimed for years that they actually have the original Ark of the Covenant spoken of in the Bible. One of the problems with the claim is that they have never allowed archeologists to inspect or test the artifact which most scholars believe is a mere copy at best.
However, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has recently announced that he will be unveiling it for all the world to see very soon. Does that mean scholars will finally have access to the ark? Probably not.
UPDATE: The ark was supposed to be revealed in June 2009, but it didn’t happen. Instead all we get is this quote from the Patriarch:
“All that which is found in the Ark is described perfectly in the Bible. The state of conservation is good because it is not made from the hand of man, but it is something that God has blessed. There are many writings and evidences of the presence of the Ark in Ethiopia. There is no reason why someone [would] dare to affirm to have something that he doesn’t have.
I am not here to give proofs that the Ark is in Ethiopia, but I am here to say what I saw, what I know and I can attest to. I didn’t say that the Ark would be revealed to the world. It is a mystery, an object of veneration.”
Response: So the mystery continues. No real unveiling and no scholarly archeological inspections at all. I guess the truth of the matter and a real resolution of the issue is not to be tolerated or allowed. It is to remain an object of faith only for the Ethiopians.