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Bishop Mar Mari of the Assyrian Orthodox Church seconds before being stabbed by an assailant while

Editor’s note: This article was updated on April 16 at 11:14 a.m. ET. 

SYDNEY (LifeSiteNews) — A prominent Bishop of the Assyrian Orthodox Church was stabbed by an Islamic militant in the middle of a live-streamed homily in Sydney, Australia, as the man shouted “Allah Akbar.” Several other Christians attending the Divine Liturgy were also stabbed as they ran to the bishop’s defense, but according to local reports, no one suffered life-threatening injuries. Crowds rioted in the immediate aftermath, demanding the assailant be brought to justice. 

A graphic video of the attack has circulated online showing a man dressed in black approaching Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel as he preaches and stabbing the bishop several times at the altar in Christ The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church. 

New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb has since declared the incident a “terrorist act.”

The Islamic assailant also injured several other parishioners, who defended the bishop and pinned down the attacker. The assailant was arrested on the scene by police and was taken to an undisclosed location. Exact motive has not yet been established, but an investigation is underway. 

An eyewitness of the stabbing told police afterwards that the assailant “kept saying ‘Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar.’” 

According to reports, after being stabbed, Emmanuel placed his hand on his attacker and prayed for him. Good Shepherd church asked for prayers for the bishop and his attacker in a statement. 

As huge unrest grew in the streets near the church immediately following the stabbing, several hundred police officers reportedly arrived on the scene with tactical vehicles to contain growing crowds, which gathered to defend their bishop, demanding that the assailant be released and brought to justice. Police eventually secured a perimeter around the Church and dispersed crowds using tear gas and tactical armor. 

Bishop Emmanuel is known for his outspokenness on moral issues including strong condemnation of LGBT ideology within Christian churches, especially in Rome, and vocal opposition to the severe Australian COVID lockdowns. 


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