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Bishop and Churchgoers Stabbed in Sydney Church Attack

WARNING! Viewer Discretion is advised

A disturbing incident unfolded during a church service in Sydney on Monday evening, sending shockwaves through the community and prompting a swift police response. Reports emerged of a violent assault at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, a suburb of Sydney, where a bishop and several churchgoers were stabbed.

Bishop and Churchgoers Stabbed in Sydney Church Attack

According to eyewitness accounts and video footage from the church's livestream, a man approached the altar during the service and launched a vicious attack on the cleric, later identified as Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. At a pulpit, the assailant set upon Emmanuel from the latter’s right and stabbed the bishop repeatedly with a switchblade until he fell after sustaining lacerations to his head; the perpetrator then stabbed two others before being restrained by members of the congregation. In the livestream of the sermon, the attacker, who was later revealed to be a 16-year-old boy. spoke in Arabic, shouting "Allahu Akbar” before stabbing Emmanuel. In a video released by a churchgoer, he was also heard saying "if he [the bishop] didn't insult my prophet and religion, I wouldn't have come here". Police described the attack as "religiously motivated extremism" and as a "terrorist act". According to Emmanuel, just about one month before the stabbing, there were threats spread on TikTok, stating he "has two weeks to live".

What made this attack profound was the Bishop's response to it. Just after the attack, Emmanuel prayed for the assailant. According to the NSW police commissioner Karen Webb, Emmanuel underwent surgery and was "lucky to be alive". He lost vision in his right eye as a result of the attack.

In the chaotic aftermath of the stabbing, tensions escalated as hundreds gathered outside the church, demanding justice and accountability. Clashes with law enforcement ensued, resulting in injuries to police officers and damage to vehicles in the area. The situation prompted a large-scale police response, with authorities urging the public to avoid the vicinity of the church.

The Christ The Good Shepherd Church has issued a statement denouncing retaliation and urging peace and unity in the wake of the attack.

As investigations into the incident continue, questions linger about the underlying factors that may have contributed to the violence. With the community still reeling from the shock of these events, there is a pressing need for solidarity and support as Sydney grapples with the aftermath of these senseless acts of aggression.

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