Anglican vicar attacked over Iran conference


A controversial Anglican vicar has been criticised for speaking alongside panellists with convictions for antisemitism at an anti-Zionist conference in Iran.

Jewish communal leaders condemned the participation of Reverend Stephen Sizer as incompatible with his position as a minister and called on the Church of England to mount an investigation.

Rev Sizer took part in the New Horizon event which reportedly looked at "the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over US and EU" in Tehran last week.

He was listed as speaking at a session on "the Israeli lobby in England" the day after participants discussed "Mossad's role in the 9/11 coup d'état".

In October last year Rev Sizer accepted that using his blog to link to websites promoting Holocaust denial and Zionist conspiracy theories had offended the Jewish community.

After the Board of Deputies made a formal complaint to the Church, the vicar took part in mediation sessions and signed a conciliation agreement.

The Community Security Trust said this week that Rev Sizer's appearance at the conference "brings into question whether he is honouring the spirit of the conciliation agreement in good faith".

Board vice-president Jonathan Arkush said he was shocked by the vicar's presence in Iran.

"I am appalled that Rev Sizer participated in a conference of antisemites in Tehran, sponsored by the Iranian government, which ranks among the most vicious persecutors of Christians and others, and is sworn to the destruction of the state of Israel," he said.

"Rev Sizer's attendance and active role at such a hate-filled event is irreconcilable with his position as a minister in the Church of England."

Rev Sizer did not respond to requests for a comment before the JC went to press.

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