TikTok-famous bishop viciously stabbed, worshippers attacked during live stream of sermon

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 16 Apr, 2024 10:00 | 4 mins read
The attacker is seen stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at the altar. PHOTO/Screengrab

A TikTok-famous Australian bishop was stabbed multiple times and two others were injured during his sermon Monday night, in an attack that came just days after six people were stabbed to death at a nearby mall and sparked massive riots throughout the area.

Footage posted online Monday shows Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel speaking at Wakeley’s Christ The Good Shepherd Church, an Assyrian Orthodox church, when an unidentified man in a black hoodie confronts him.

The bishop appears to try to talk to the man, who then stabs the bishop’s face and neck just after 7 p.m. local time.

The attacker is seen approaching Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel while he was preaching. PHOTO/Screengrab

Emmanuel then fell to the floor as congregants jumped to his aid.

He was promptly rushed to a local hospital, while the suspect was taken into custody.

The bishop is in stable condition, the church wrote in a statement posted to Instagram.

It noted that Father Isaac Rayel was also among the injured, and asked the public for their prayers for the wounded.

The attacker is seen stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at the altar. PHOTO/Screengrab

“It is the bishop and Father’s wishes that you also pray for the perpetrator,” the church said.

“We also kindly ask anyone at the Church premises to leave in peace, as our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, teaches us.”

At least two others were also treated at the scene for lacerations, according to News.com.au.

A motive for the stabbing is currently unknown, but the suspect reportedly told congregants at the scene Emmanuel “was getting involved in my religion so I came to get involved in his,” a politician posted online.

The congregation gathers to subdue the attacker and assist Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. PHOTO/Screengrab

He was later photographed smiling as he was pinned to the ground by angry parishioners.

The brutal scene quickly dissolved into chaos, as thousands rioted in the streets while they waited for the suspect to be marched out of the Assyrian church.

“Bring him out, bring him out,” the angry mob could be heard shouting in a video posted to social media.

Other footage showed a large crowd rioting at the scene and apparently damaging local property, with dozens of people bashing in an ambulance window, according to News.com.au.

One man could even be heard crying out, “He’s a f–king dog.”

Police at the scene ultimately had to deploy tear gas to disperse the crowd outside the church, after a perimeter they set up was breached by rioters, according to The Telegraph.

Officers were also seen using a ladder to break down a door in order to reach ambulance workers who were hiding from the crowd behind it, 9 News reports.

Despite their efforts, at least one officer was transported to a local hospital with a head injury.

Later, protesters were seen in another video, marching around with a large cross outside of the jail where the suspect was being held.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel speaking at Wakeley’s Christ The Good Shepherd Church. PHOTO/ Facebook / Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel

Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone has since called for the community to remain “calm” as police say they are working to restore order.

“I know there is a lot of emotion involved, the bishop is well-loved and I think the best thing the community can do is just say a prayer for the bishop,” he told 9 News.

“We don’t want to see anyone else get injured,” he added.

“Please clear the area — let the police do their work, I know this is what the bishop would have wanted.”

Carbone also noted that the community is “diverse” with many immigrants who came to Australia “to escape violence from overseas.”

But he said “they’re a very peaceful community — and to have someone do this during a sermon is horrific.”

Premier Chris Minnis also described the scene as “disturbing.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and first responders who are working to keep us safe,” he posted online.

“It’s important that the community remain calm and continue to listen and act to the directions of police and emergency services.

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

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Australia has also released a statement condemning the attack, and saying they were praying for Emmanuel’s recovery.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to all those injured in the attack and wish them a speedy and complete recovery,” it said, according to 9 News.

Bishop Emmanuel has gained a following online in recent years as an outspoken critic of COVID restrictions.

He described lockdowns in one sermon as “mass slavery” and has spoken out against vaccine mandates.

“Are we humans? Because we are being treated like animals,” the bishop said in one 2021 sermon, according to News.com.au.

“They are encouraging people to go and take a vaccine and stay at home. They have had enough.”

More recently, he has gained a following for his sermons condemning the war in Gaza and calling for peace.

He now has more than 39,500 followers on TikTok.

The attack Monday comes just days after a knife-wielding man stabbed more than a dozen people at a popular mall in Sydney.

It is unclear if the two attacks are linked.

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