Ethiopia’s miraculous underground churches

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Photo by Raymond Meier Bet Giyorgis, in Lalibela, is one of the 11 churches carved out of the hillside.

I have always questioned God’s existence, but in the northern Ethiopian town of Lalibela, I was presented with fairly substantial evidence.

Officially Christian since 330AD, Ethiopia claims to be the oldest Christian country in the world. And despite being ravaged by poverty, faith has remained strong over the centuries; Lalibela’s medieval rock-hewn churches are clear proof of that.

Each of the 11 monolithic structures is dramatically stamped into the mountainous landscape, plunging 40 to 50m into the Earth and pierced with cross-shaped chiselled openings to let sunlight into the hollowed-out interior.

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