Sydney bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel returns to Church with touching words for teen accused of horrific stabbing

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Lauren Price
The Nightly
NSW Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel returns to preach after being attacked at The Good Shepherd Church earlier this month.
NSW Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel returns to preach after being attacked at The Good Shepherd Church earlier this month. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

A Sydney bishop stabbed repeatedly by a teenager in an alleged act of terrorism has returned to his church for the first time since the attack.

Two weeks after the shocking knife attack — allegedly perpetrated by a 16-year-old boy — Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel on Sunday returned to the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley.

Churchgoers erupted in applause for Bishop Emmanuel, who wore an eye-patch and delivered a message to his alleged attacker.

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“I’ll say it again, this young man who did this act, almost two weeks ago, I say to you, my dear, you are my son and you will always be my son,” he said.

“I will always pray for you, I will always wish you nothing but the best.”

He also carried a cross for the Palm Sunday sermon, which began in Arabic and was streamed online.

“In Christ, we are one, in Christ we are always united regardless of what our differences are, as theological, dogmatic or kinetical differences, but in Christ, we are always united,” Bishop Emmanuel told worshippers.

“Every human being has the right to their freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

He thanked members of the Assyrian Orthodox church for their well wishes.

It was the bishop’s first time back in the same pulpit in which he was allegedly attacked on April 15.

He was giving a sermon — which was also being live-streamed — when the teenager allegedly approached and stabbed him several times.

The 16-year-old is before the courts and has not entered a plea.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, a large crowd converged on the church as people rioted.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, a large crowd converged on the church as people rioted. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, a large crowd converged on the church as people rioted.

Dozens of police were injured, their cars vandalised and some officers and paramedics were forced to shelter inside the place of worship.

The stabbing incident has set in motion searches across Sydney as part of a counter-terrorism investigation linked to the stabbing.

Police on Thursday said five boys, aged from 14 to 17, were among seven arrested in a major operation by the joint counter-terrorism team.

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