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Sydney Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel attacked during sermon

Shocking scenes have emerged from a Sydney church after a teenage boy allegedly stabbed Assyrian bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel as he was delivering a Monday night sermon to a full congregation.

Footage from the sermon, which was being live streamed online, shows a man dressed in black approaching the bishop and attacking him. Parishioners quickly moved to intervene.

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The Australian newspaper has reported that the teenager said in Arabic that he had targeted the bishop for “swearing at my prophet”.

New South Wales police have confirmed they were called to the church around 7.10pm local time responding to reports that multiple people had been stabbed.

The injured individuals suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being conveyed to hospital.

Police say a male was arrested at the scene and is now being held at an undisclosed location. At a media conference held early on Tuesday morning police confirmed they had arrested a 15-year-old who was known to them.

In the wake of the attack hundreds of people flocked to the Christ the Good Shepherd church in Wakeley Police launched a wide-scale operation to maintain public order incident at the location.

During their operation two police officers were injured and a number of police vehicles sustained damage. At least 150 officers were called to the scene.

Parts of Liverpool Hospital were also placed on lockdown around 10pm after Bishop Mar Mari was transported there.

Premier Chris Minns urges the community to remain calm

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns has urged the community to remain calm.

“It is important that the community remain calm and continue to listen and act to the directions of police and emergency services.” Minns said.

“We are a strong community in New South Wales and it’s important that we stick together, particularly in the face of adversity.”

The incident comes just days after a mass killing at a shopping centre in Sydney’s Bondi Junction where a mentally ill man was shot after stabbing multiple people, causing the death of six people.

Who is Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel?

Emmanuel is a prominent leader of the ultra-conservative sect of the Assyrian Orthodox church. He gained popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic for his stance against lockdowns and vaccines.

He has spoken out against the LGBTIQA+ communities, homosexuality and people who are transgender on many occasions.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel

In 2023 Bishop Emmanuel criticised Pope Francis for being more welcoming of LGBTIQA+ people, arguing that biblical teachings condemning homosexuality were indisputable.

Clips of the bishop speaking out against homosexuality and same-sex marriage have regularly been shared online.

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