Everything we know about the Sydney Mass stabbing incident in Church

It hasn’t been a week since Sydney was shocked by the Mass stabbing incident in a Shopping Mall in the Bondi Junction, where six people were killed in a knife attack. Within two days, on April 16, another mass stabbing incident occurred in a church involving a 16-year-old boy stabbing the bishop which police called was “religiously motivated.”

Here’s all the details we know about this case.

It was all live-streamed when in Sydney's western suburbs, during a sermon at Christ the Good Shepherd Church, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, aged 53, was stabbed in the head with a flick knife.


  • In total, four people were injured in the stabbing attack, but authorities have confirmed that none of the injuries are life-threatening. 
  • One Clergyman, aged 39, sustained injuries while attempting to intervene, suffering a wounded shoulder and lacerations. 
  • Both men, including Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and the priest, were transported to Liverpool Hospital by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries for surgery.
  • A message shared on social media by the church stated that the bishop and priest were in stable condition and requested prayers for their recovery.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel

Arrest and Investigation

  • A 16-year-old boy was restrained by witnesses and then arrested by police for the brutal stabbing.
  • The teenager underwent surgery and is currently under police guard. 
  • During the incident, one of the teenager's fingers was severed, with authorities suspecting that he may have done it himself.
  • NSW Premier Chris Minns said the 16-year-old had a flick knife at a train station last November and was placed on a good behaviour bond. He was also found with a knife at school in 2020.
  • The accused teenager was "known to the police" but was not on any terror watch list, according to authorities. 
  • Police also stated that there was no indication, at this stage, of any other individuals being involved in planning the attack. 
  • Although the attack is considered a terrorist act, Australia's terrorism threat level will not be raised as a result of this incident, they clarified.

16 year old attacking the bishop

“Religiously motivated” - Australian Police

  • New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb stated that the brutal knife attack at around 1 am, which injured a bishop and several worshippers, was “religiously motivated”. 
  • She described it as an act of religious extremism that aimed to intimidate both the parishioners in the church and those watching the service online. 
  • The head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Mike Burgess, also confirmed that there was evidence suggesting the attack was driven by religious motives.
  • In a live stream, the teenager can be heard saying in Arabic: “If he [the bishop] didn’t get himself involved in my religion if he hadn’t spoken about my Prophet, I wouldn’t have come here … if he just spoke about his religion, I wouldn’t have come.
  • Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, who was popular online, has previously criticised Islam and the prophet Muhammad in public sermons.
  • After the incident was declared a terror incident early Tuesday morning, the counter-terrorism police in NSW got extraordinary powers to investigate and conduct searches to prevent any further suspected attacks.
  • Authorities have so far declined to state the religion of the alleged offender.
  • NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb stated that the police would assert a level of premeditation in the attack, as the church was not in proximity to the alleged offender's residence, and he purportedly travelled there with a knife. 

australian police

Aftermath of the Incident- Violence

  • Thousands of people gathered outside the church on the suburban street, some of whom travelled to the church following the incident, after being alerted to the attack by the live stream.
  • A scuffle broke out between worshippers and the assailant after the attack, as the congregation rushed forward. The situation escalated into a riot among worshippers.
  • People became violent towards police and paramedics as police responding to the stabbing were confronted by the crowd, resulting in two officers being injured and 20 vehicles damaged.
  • One constable suffered a broken jaw, while another had a chipped tooth and twisted knee. 
  • Six paramedics became stuck in the church for three and a half hours, and 30 people sustained injuries, 20 of whom were affected by capsicum spray.
  • Seven people were taken to the hospital, and about 30 were checked by paramedics, with 20 treated for the effects of OC spray.
  • Several nearby houses were broken into during the incident.
  • Political and religious leaders urged calm and discouraged retaliatory attacks.
  • NSW Premier Chris Minns convened an emergency meeting with leaders of local Muslim, Assyrian, and Melkite communities to issue a joint statement condemning violence and promoting calm.
  • Lakemba mosque leaders reported threats of firebombing on Monday night.
  • NSW Police are conducting operations at the site on Welcome Street, with officers from the Fairfield City Police Area Command present. The public has been advised to avoid the area.

australian police

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the establishment of a joint counter-terrorism task force, which includes the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, in the aftermath of the incident.

He said “I understand that people are feeling uneasy, and that’s understandable given the atrocity that occurred on Saturday and then this incident last night…There is no place for violence in our community. There’s no place for violent extremism.”

All and all, A lot happened in a week in Australia creating a situation of panic, chaos, and religious riots. In response to this Australian PM Albanese, speaking to the media, urged citizens to maintain unity and peace.

Photo Credit: X

(Inputs from Agencies)

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