A famous Russian traveler claims he is the first European
to see with his own eyes the Arc of the Covenant

Tigrai Online

August 26 2010

Russian traveler Fyodor KonyukhovThe famous Russian traveler Fyodor Konyukhov has become the first European to see with his own eyes the legendary Arc of the Covenant that preserved the Scrolls received by Moses on the Mount Sinai.

This is the holiest relic of the Coptic Christianity. It has never been shown to any non-consecrated person. Most likely, this may be the reason that led to many theories about the place where it is being preserved. At a chapel in the ancient capital of Ethiopia, Aksum, the Ethiopian priests showed the Arc of the Covenant to Fyodor Konyukhov who has recently been ordained deacon by the Russian Orthodox Church, and is preparing for an African expedition with the blessings of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Kyrill. Sharing his impression Fyodor Konyukhov has this to say.

I did not expect it, but the Ethiopians showed me the Arc of the Covenant, says Fyodor Konyukhov. It was four O clock, and I was with priests at the service. I was standing near the keeper of the relic and I looked into his eyes. I have never seen such a person. Light was emitting from his eyes. He could not talk to me, because priests do not talk during Lent. The Arc of the Covenant was taken out and it was shown to me. An Ethiopian operator was at the scene and filmed the event, Fyodor Konyukhov said.

Fyodor Konyukhov has made six solo expeditions around the world aboard a yacht, climbed all the highest peaks, including the Mount Everest, travelled to the North and South Poles, and sailed around the Antarctic. He plans to launch an expedition to the African deserts. He is now preparing for this. He is in Moscow from Addis Ababa for only two days, but decided to share his impression with our listeners.

The Russian traveler has agreed with the Ethiopian authorities on the construction of a Russian Orthodox chapel in Addis Ababa. It will be St. George chapel, says Fyodor Konyukhov.

We met with the builders and Ethiopian workers. Our embassy helped us. I hope to install a cross at the site before I leave for the expedition in February, Fyodor Konyukhov said.

An expedition to the hot African desert will start on February 20th and will run for 35 days. We will use camels during the expedition, says Fyodor Konyukhov.

Our group will consist of seven people, two herdsmen, two guards, one translator, a cook and me. I am the only one from Russia and I wish to have a Russian operator to cover the expedition, Fyodor Konyukhov.

The famous traveler arrived in Ethiopia in response to a request by its government that hopes he can lay interesting and comfortable routs for tourists. In short, we will be able to see interesting places in the country in the near future.

Meanwhile, a cupola for the St. George chapel is being made in Sofrino near Moscow. Fyodor Konyukhov will shortly leave for Africa to prepare for the expedition.

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