Everything About the Sydney Church Stabbing That is Known So Far

Just one day after the KLIA shooting incident in Malaysia, another terrifying incident has netizens in a grip.

Sydney Church Stabbing

On 15 April, a knife attack occurred during a service at an Assyrian church in Sydney.

Image: X (@BrotherRasheed)

Australian police said on 16 April that the attack was a terrorist act motivated by suspected religious extremism.

The stabbing injured at least four people, including Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel of the Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church, in the suburb of Wakeley.

The service was being live-streamed when the attack happened.

Bishop Emmanuel’s live-streamed sermons attract a global audience, and he was speaking during an evening service when the attacker charged at him with a knife.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Several parishioners immediately lunged forward to intervene as screams echoed around the room.

A 39-year-old man, who was injured after attempting to intervene, suffered cuts and a shoulder wound, police said.

In a statement, Christ The Good Shepherd Church said the 53-year-old bishop suffered several blows to the head and body. Parish priest Father Isaac Royel was also injured, it said.

Those who sustained wounds are currently being treated for non life-threatening injuries.

Police arrested a male teenager at the scene on 15 April and were forced to hold him at the church for his own safety as the crowd of worshippers gathered outside.

Reader: For his own safety? Isn’t he the dangerous one?

Read on, dear reader, you’d be surprised.

After The Stabbing, Outside The Church

An angry crowd of the bishop’s followers clashed with police outside the church, demanding that the 15-year-old attacker be handed to them.

Hundreds of police officers were deployed as hundreds of rioters swarmed the area.

Police on the ground held up shields to protect themselves while helicopters flew in overhead.

“People used what was available to them in the area, including bricks, concrete and palings, to assault police and throw missiles at police and police equipment and police vehicles,” said Commissioner Karen Webb of the New South Wales (NSW) state police.

NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan said paramedics and police were forced to retreat inside the church, where they were holed up for three and a half hours as crowds rioted outside.

“This was a rapidly evolving situation where the crowds went from 50 to hundreds of people in a very rapid period of time. Our paramedics became directly under threat,” he said.

“Six of our paramedics could not leave that facility for fear of their own safety. I echo the words of the police commissioner. This is outrageous.”

Emergency crews said they attended to 30 individuals outside the church, and seven were taken to a hospital with injuries. Around 20 were treated for the effects of pepper spray.

Several police officers were also hospitalised with injuries while 20 police vehicles were damaged, and 10 were deemed unusable.

Ms Webb said this is “unacceptable” and that those who were involved in that riot “can expect a knock at the door.”

“It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but we will find you and we will come and arrest you.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns urged people to not take the law into their own hands.

“You will be met by the full force of the law if there’s any attempt for tit-for-tat violence in Sydney over the coming days,” Mr Minns said.

Stabbing Declared A “Terrorist Incident”

“We believe there are elements that are satisfied in terms of religious-motivated extremism,” Ms Webb said during a press conference.

“After consideration of all the material, I declare that it was a terrorist incident.”

Australian police said there was “a degree of premeditation” as the attacker travelled to the church, far from his home, with a knife. At this early stage of investigation, police believe the young male was acting alone.

Ms Webb noted that the attack intimidated the public – both parishioners at the church and people following the live-streamed service online.

She added that the suspect was “known to the police”, but was not on any terrorist watch list.

Police have talked to the suspect’s parents, though details of their conversation cannot be revealed.

Bishop Emmanuel

The Assyrian Orthodox Church believes there is one eternal God who has three distinct people: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

It was one of the earliest to separate with the Catholic Church regarding communion.

In 2014, the church where the stabbing attack took place broke away from the main Assyrian Church of The East, after the bishop was ex-communicated over theological differences.

His church’s website says he became a priest in 2009 and was ordained as a bishop in 2011.

Clips of Bishop Emmanuel’s sermons are uploaded on YouTube and TikTok.

@i_love_jesus88880? original sound – Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel

The clips rack up hundreds of thousands of views, gaining the bishop supporters from all over the world.

During the pandemic, he became well known when he described COVID-19 lockdowns as “mass slavery” and said vaccines were futile.

While the bishop has many supporters, there are also those who are against him and his preachings.

He has previously received death threats, with one saying he had “two weeks to live”.

Another Major Stabbing In Australia On 13 April

Just a couple of days ago, another major stabbing occurred in Sydney.

An attacker fatally attacked six people with a knife in a Sydney mall.

Police shot the attacker dead in Sydney’s beachside suburb of Bondi.

Five of the six victims killed were women. Eight people, including a nine-month-old baby, were taken to a hospital with stab wounds.

Security camera footage showed a man running around the mall with a large knife as injured people lay lifeless on the floor, or surrounded by pools of blood.

Hundreds fled the scene as police tried to secure the area.

Police said the attacker is believed to be a 40-year-old male.

Unlike the church stabbing incident, the police, at this stage do not believe the attack was terror-related.

Other stabbing events have also occurred earlier this year, including one in Canada and one in Tokyo.