Bishop and Worshippers Injured in Livestreamed Stabbing Attack

7News Australia
7News Australia

Multiple people were injured in a stabbing attack at a church in Australia on Monday, authorities said, with the horrific incident captured on a livestream of the service.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was delivering the service at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in the Sydney suburb of Wakeley when a man walked up to the altar and attacked him shortly after 7 p.m. local time, according to local media reports. Footage from the livestream circulating online appears to show the assailant striking the church leader several times as members of the congregation screamed and rushed toward Emmanuel.

Seven Dead After Stabbing Spree at Sydney Shopping Mall

New South Wales Police said in a statement that officers had responded to reports of “a number of people” being stabbed and that a male had been arrested. “The injured people suffered non-life threatening injuries and are being treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics,” the force added.

A video shared on social media purportedly shows the alleged attacker being restrained by several people, including one man wearing police body armor. Another man—who appears to have bloodstains on his pants—appears to strike the alleged assailant in the face, prompting instructions to stop from the man in police clothing.

The restrained man can later be seen smiling in the clip and saying: “You think that hurt, my brother?”

Four men were injured in the attack, according to 9News. The national news service said the church had advertised that Emmanuel was due to give an Assyrian Bible preaching from 7 p.m. on Monday. It also described Emmanuel as a popular but divisive figure in the Orthodox community who had come to prominence in the COVID pandemic, during which he had been critical of vaccine mandates and lockdown restrictions.

The attack comes just days after Sydney was rocked by a mass stabbing attack at a shopping mall on Saturday. Six people were killed in the earlier attack carried out by 40-year-old Joel Cauchi, who was himself shot dead by a police officer responding to the rampage.

Five of the six victims in the mall attack were women. NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb told Australia’s ABC that authorities are considering whether Cauchi had specifically targeted women. “It’s obvious to me, it’s obvious to detectives that... the offender focused on women and avoided the men,” Webb said.

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