A man is arrested after a stabbing at a church service in Sydney. Police say no lives are in danger

Police say a man has been arrested after a bishop and three churchgoers were stabbed in Sydney

Mark Baker,Rod McGuirk
Monday 15 April 2024 14:26 BST

Police in Australia say a man has been arrested after a bishop and three churchgoers were stabbed in Sydney. There are no life-threatening injuries.

It occurred during a televised service at the church on Monday evening, police said. The Orthodox Assyrian church streams services online.

A video on social media shows a man dressed in black approaching a cleric at the altar identified as the bishop at Christ the Good Shepherd in suburban Wakely and appearing to stab him repeatedly in the head and upper body.

Members of the congregation are seen screaming and rushing to the bishop’s aid. The church website identified the bishop as Mar Mari Emmanuel.

NSW Ambulance service said it had treated a man in his 50s for multiple cuts and taken him to a hospital, and three others were treated for one or more cuts at the scene.

“A large police response is underway and the public is urged to avoid the area,” police said. Crowds gathered outside the church and the hospital.

The premier of New South Wales, Chris Minns, described the scenes as “disturbing” on social media and urged the community to remain calm and “stick together.” Religious leaders expressed shock and condolences.

Australians are still in shock after a lone assailant stabbed six people to death in a busy Sydney shopping mall on Saturday and injured more than a dozen others.

There was no immediate indication the two stabbings were linked.

Christ the Good Shepherd had been preparing for Palm Sunday later this month.

The bishop was featured in national news last year.

A video posted in May 2023 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about a campaign targeting the LGBTQ+ community showed the bishop in a sermon saying that “when a man calls himself a woman, he is neither a man nor a woman, you are not a human, then you are an it. Now, since you are an it, I will not address you as a human anymore because it is not my choosing, it your choosing.”


McGuirk reported from Melbourne, Australia.

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