Wakeley church attack: What accused stabber allegedly said to Bishop and parishioners

Peta Rasdien
The Nightly
2 Min Read
The accused attacker allegedly uttered chilling words to the angry parishioners who restrained him.
The accused attacker allegedly uttered chilling words to the angry parishioners who restrained him. Credit: X formerly Twitter

Moments after a teenager allegedly launched a vicious stabbing attack on a bishop in Sydney, he uttered chilling words to the angry parishioners who restrained him.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, 53, was in the middle of delivering mass at the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, in Sydney’s west, on Monday night when the 16-year-old interrupted the sermon and allegedly stabbed the bishop before being tackled by church-goers.

Two people, including the Assyrian Christian leader, were wounded in the alleged attack, with vision of the incident live-streamed around the world.

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The Daily Telegraph reports the teen allegedly said in Arabic to those standing over him words translated to: “If he didn’t swear at my Prophet I wouldn’t be here. If he didn’t involve himself in my religion I wouldn’t be here”.

Bishop Mari was attacked while giving a sermon that was being live-streamed around the world.
Bishop Mari was attacked while giving a sermon that was being live-streamed around the world. Credit: X formerly Twitter

Police have confirmed at least one of the teenager’s fingers was severed in the attack. He remains in hospital under police guard after receiving treatment for severe hand injuries.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the teen’s alleged actions had a degree of premeditation.

“We will allege (he) attended that church with a knife, armed with a knife, and stabbed the bishop priest and others were also injured, we believe the elements that are satisfied in terms of religiously motivated extremism, and of course, the intimidation of the public through that person’s acts.

“By attending that church, whilst it was being live streamed, intimidating not only the parishioners in attendance, but those parishioners in watching online, and subsequently those people that turned up to the church on the outside and the subsequent riot that happened.”

Parishioners restrain the alleged attacker.
Parishioners restrain the alleged attacker. Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

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