The Ethiopians are convinced the Ark of the Covenant is in a church in Axum and the story behind it as roughly like this.
The Queen of Saba lived in Axum when she visited Jerusalem and King Salomo. When she returned she was pregnant and gave birth to a son, Menelik. When he became of age he asked his mother about his father, and the Queen told him about Salomo in Jerusalem. Menelik wanted to see his father so he went to Jerusalem where Salomo welcomed him with open arms. Menelik stayed four years in Jerusalem . When he returned home King Salomo sent 10000 Jews with him. They became the Jewish colony in Ethiopia where they stayed untill 1984 and 1991 when they were air-lifted to Israel. About 125 000 Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel and only a few in Ethiopia.
So Salomo sent 10000 jews with Menelik, but Menelik also stole the Ark of the Covenant and brought it to Axum, where it supposedly now is in this church.
Nobody has seen it as it is wrapped in a magic cloth, but replicas are placed in all churches in the part of the church called “The Holiest of the Holy” where only the priest can enter once a year.
I asked if the original ever was shown and the answer was NO! That was not possible as the magical strength of the ark was so powerful it would kill people. So the Ark must be stored safely in the church wrapped in the magical cloth that absorbes the power.
This was told me and it was clear they really believed this to be the true story. I am not convinced, to put it that way, but again it shows the importance of the church’s teaching on people. A bit frightening actually!