A 16-year-old male is now facing charges of committing a terrorist act after a stabbing incident that occurred during a live-streamed church service at Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney, Australia.

The attack, which took place on April 15, left Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and two others injured, though none of the injuries were life-threatening. New South Wales police have classified the assault as a “terrorist incident,” suggesting a religiously motivated extremism component.

Bishop Emmanuel, a prominent figure in the Assyrian Orthodox Church, was delivering a sermon when the attacker, wielding a knife, lunged at him, targeting his head and upper body. The scene, captured on a live broadcast, shows congregants rushing to the bishop’s defense.

Further escalating the situation, a protest erupted outside the church shortly after the attack, resulting in injuries to two police officers and damage to police vehicles.

Bishop Emmanuel, from his hospital bed, extended forgiveness to his attacker: “I forgive whoever has done this act, and I say to him you are my son, I love you, and I will always pray for you.”

He called on his community to reflect Christ-like behavior and to cooperate fully with law enforcement. “The Lord Jesus never taught us to retaliate,” Bishop Emmanuel said.

Photo credit: PredragLasica / Shutterstock.com | Ghareebota via Wikimedia Commons
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