British priest accused of antisemitism is barred from Church of England

A retired British priest was banned from the Anglican ministry for 12 years on January 30, 2023.

Stephen Sizer, a retired British priest who made a name for himself as an outspoken opponent of Christian Zionism and made numerous antisemitic claims during his priesthood, is now banned from the Anglican ministry for 12 years, reports The Jerusalem Post.

Over more than two decades of priesthood, Sizer has become known as an outspoken opponent of Christian Zionism, dedicating his academic career to the topic.

“It is irresponsible to believe that God will bless Christians materially if they support the largely secular State of Israel,” he wrote in his 2007 book “Zion’s Christian Soldiers.”

Among the numerous antisemitic claims Sizer made, one of the most notorious ones is when he posted an article on his Facebook page stating that Jews and Israel were behind 9/11. The offence led to his suspension, along with his speech at a 2008 conference alongside Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben and a Facebook post claiming that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was a victim of “the hidden hands of Zionism.”

The British Jewish community welcomed Sizer’s ban from the Church of  England, which will last until 2030, because he was initially suspended in 2018 after the complaints were filed against him by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The 12-year ban announced on January 30 includes the time already served.

“Given that he indulged in ‘antisemitic activity’ and caused grievous offence to the Jewish community over a number of years, this is the correct decision,” said Marie Van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

“It is clear that the behaviour of Stephen Sizer has undermined Christian-Jewish relations, giving encouragement to conspiracy theories and tropes that have no place in public Christian ministry and the church. I renew my call for the highest possible standards among ordained ministers of the Church of England in combating antisemitism of all kinds,” wrote the Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest Clerical official in the Anglican church, in a statement.