“Crudely formed ankh sign carved onto a standing stela at Aksum. The date of both the stela and its sign are uncertain, and need not be contemporary. Now half-buried, its intended level on the stela also is unknown. (Author’s photograph.) the Syrian monk Frumentius of Tyre.84 Aksum is therefore almost the world’s oldest official Christian state, following just a few years after Constantine the Great declared the Roman Empire so at the Council of Nicaea in 325. With this conversion to Christianity, initially as an official state religion and only later filtering down to the common population, came an unprecedented amount of Egyptian influence. Frumentius was a missionary of the Coptic church, headquartered in Alexandria, and the Patriarch there appointed him the first ‘Bishop of the Ethiopians’. This practice of appointing a foreigner, from then on always an Egyptian Copt, as Archbishop of the Ethiopian church by the Patriarch in Alexandria continued down through the centuries, ending only in 195 I. The modern Ethiopian Orthodox Church, in consequence, owes some of its liturgy and ritual to early Coptic 84 Frumentius was Christian who had been shipwrecked as a child on his way to India with his uncle and brother; the uncle died but the brothers were brought to Aksum as slaves. ” – Punt and Aksum: Egypt and the Horn of Africa by ResearchGate