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Well-known Sydney Assyrian Bishop Emmanuel stabbed in terror attack during service

Assailant was angered by some of the bishop’s previous comments about the Muslim Prophet Muhammed

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel being attacked during service (Photo: Screenshot)

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed on Monday night during an online mass service at Assyrian Orthodox Church, "Christ the Good Shepherd," in Sydney, Australia. The bishop has a significant online following and is known for posting criticisms of homosexuality, COVID vaccinations and Islam.

The bishop survived the knife attack and later said he was "lucky to be alive." Australian police classified the incident as a terror attack.

The 16-year-old terrorist was quickly neutralized by members of the congregation at the scene of the incident and was later identified as a Muslim Arabic-speaking teenager of Lebanese origin. According to media reports, the teen was angered by some of the bishop’s previous comments about the Muslim Prophet Muhammed.

"If he [the bishop] didn't insult my prophet and religion, I wouldn't have come here," the teen reportedly said following the attack.

Bishop Emmanuel was born in Iraq in 1970 and arrived in Australia as a child with his family. He is a prominent member of the Assyrian community, an ancient Middle Eastern Christian community that hails from the Mesopotamia region.

Today, the lands once inhabited by the Assyrians are now part of modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, with a population of three million Assyrians predominantly residing in those nations. As one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, the Assyrians speak Aramaic, the ancient language spoken by Jesus in the neighboring land of Israel.

The charismatic bishop Emmanuel has attracted a large online following and mixes traditional Christian sermons with his conservative political outlook on world events.

Emmanuel enraged some Muslims after noting that "Islam flourished and expanded with the sword." Islam, which was born in the Arabian desert of contemporary Saudi Arabia, indeed, was spread by Muslim armies across the Middle East, North Africa regions, and parts of Europe, including Spain and southern France.

Emmanuel has called for an end to the war in Gaza, expressing clear support for civilians while failing to condemn the Hamas terrorist organization for the atrocities committed against Israel on Oct. 7, as well as for war crimes involving the use of civilians as human shields in Gaza, a violation of international law.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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