Westminster Abbey accused of ‘sacrilege’ for keeping Ethiopian relic

September 26, 2010


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey has been accused of sacrilege over its refusal to return a “looted” sacred object to the Ethiopian Orthodox church.

The object is a tabot, a small tablet that symbolises the Ark of the Covenant. Tabots are regarded by 35 million Ethiopian Christians as so sacrosanct that only priests are allowed to look at them. Such is their significance that they must never be displayed or photographed. The abbey has a stone tabot inlaid at the back of an 1870s altar in the Henry VII Lady Chapel, where it is visible to anyone peering around its left side. Read full text