Bishop Stabbed During Church Service

( – Just days after a mass stabbing attack in an Australian mall, a controversial bishop in Sydney was attacked with a knife during a church service in an attempted murder by a 16-year-old boy.

On Monday, April 15, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was attacked inside the Christ The Good Shepherd Church on Welcome Street in the Wakely neighborhood of Sydney in New South Wales, shortly after he began conducting a service there. The service was being streamed online and the attack was captured on video and seen by many live over the internet.

The graphic video, which has since spread online, shows the assailant emerging from the crowd in front of Emmanuel and suddenly lunging at the altar, striking the bishop multiple times before others in the church intervened and stopped the attacker. A priest was also injured during the incident, but authorities said no one was killed or suffered life-threatening injuries. Emmanuel suffered serious wounds to his head and neck but is in stable condition.

New South Wales Police have declared the attack as an act of terrorism. Police Commissioner Karen Webb said that comments made by the suspect indicated there was a religious motivation behind his actions, and “a degree of premeditation” considering that the 16-year-old assailant traveled to the specific location but was not an attendee of the church and did not live nearby.

Although he did not appear on a terror watch list, the boy was already known to law enforcement. Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization joined local law enforcement to form a counter-terrorism task force and are investigating any possible accomplices or others who may be connected to the suspect.

A few days before the attack on the bishop, six people were stabbed to death inside a mall in Sydney by a 40-year-old man wielding a large knife. Although some initially speculated the attack was connected to Islamic extremism, law enforcement said there was no indication the attacker was engaged in terrorism.

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