Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel

Attempted Assassination of Bishop Mar Mari Declared Terrorism: Church Denounces Retaliation

17 April 2024

2.6 MINS

An attack on Christians in Western Sydney is being treated as terrorism.

Referring to the attempted Islamic assassination of Assyrian Orthodox Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, New South Wales police commissioner Karen Webb said,

“At 1:35 a.m. this morning, after consideration of all the materials, I’ve declared the attack to be a terrorist incident.”

NSW Labor Premier Chris Minns concurred, stating that the decision to rule the attack as terrorism was validated by the Minister for Police early Tuesday morning.

Minns, who had cut a holiday in Japan short after a similar incident in Bondi Junction over the weekend, told the same press conference that “a major criminal investigation is underway.”

This coincided with Commissioner Webb and Premier Minns warning against reprisals.

“There is no such thing in Australia as taking the law into your own hands. It doesn’t exist,” said Minns.

“If there’s any tit-for-tat violence in Sydney over the coming days, [those responsible] will be met with the full force of the law.”

The apparent Islamic assassin attacked around 7:05 p.m. on Monday during a live-streamed service.

Video shows the alleged 16-year-old attacker approaching the pulpit.

He then appears to stab Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel with a knife multiple times, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” as the congregation tackled him to the ground.

Viral footage also showed the attacker smiling while being held down, and stating,

“If they didn’t insult my prophet, I wouldn’t have come here. If he didn’t involve himself in my religion, I would not have come here.”

According to a media release from New South Wales police, the alleged Islamic terrorist was ‘arrested on the scene.’

Those stabbed – four in total – were treated by paramedics, and faced ‘non-life-threatening injuries.’

There are also loose reports that Bishop Mar Mari put his hands on the would-be Islamist assassin, and prayed for him until police arrived.

Shifting Blame

Unsurprisingly, Australia’s left-wing media shifted attention away from the Islamist motive.

Instead, leftist news organisations slammed Bishop Mar Mari as hardline ultra-conservative, anti-LGBTQ, and an anti-vaxxer.

For instance, Crikey, typical of the far-left media agenda, insinuated that Bishop Mar Mari brought the assassination attempt on himself.

Stopping short of celebrating his Islamic attacker, Crikey drew links between Christian Lives Matter and the Bishop, stating,

‘Bishop Mar Mari was the favourite church leader of the Christian Lives Matter (CLM) movement.’

For Crikey, CLM is an anti-LGBTQ+, far-right extremist organisation.

In reality, CLM is a community made up of Australian Christians with Middle Eastern heritage, concerned about persecution and parental rights.

Notably, chief admin for CLM’s Facebook page Charlie Bakhos, originally from Lebanon, called for prayer, peace, and calm responses.

Hinting at justifications for the attempted assassination, the Daily Mail claimed Bishop Mar Mari’s (biblical) ‘controversial comments about Islam’ may have triggered the attack.

DM additionally labelled Mar Mari an “anti-vaxxer.”

The Sydney Morning Herald, outbidding the UK Telegraph for “worst take” of them all, adding that the Bishop was a Biden 2020 ‘election denier.’

Then, in another article, the SMH insinuated the same smear as Crikey, stating that Mar Mari ‘took an oversized role in CLM.’

His sermons, they said, were ‘fire and brimstone,’ attracting ‘hardline Christians for his anti-LGBTQ sermons, and “pandemic scepticism.”

Salivating for a chance to demonise Christians, Marxist-woke outlets appear poised to pounce on any retaliation.

Love Thy Enemies

In an update posted online, the church said the injured bishop was in hospital, stable, and recovering.

Quelling anger, Christ the Good Shepherd Parish Priest and secretary, Fr Daniel Kochou, asserted,

“Let not today’s horrific attempt on Bishop Mar Mari’s life diminish the Holy, perfect, and Sanctified name of the risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ our Master.”

To this he added,

“Since early times, for Christ’s namesake, we are taught to honour the image of God, not through vengeance and justice, but in adopting the spirit of humility, love, and peace.

“Christ has in fact called His subjects to become the ‘light of the world’, meaning those who bear His mark must fervently uphold this role.”

The church, Fr Kochou stated, “denounces retaliation of any kind.”


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  1. Hannah 17 April 2024 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Thank you for a Christian take on this.
    l find the crowd outside deeply concerning.

  2. IAN Moncrieff 17 April 2024 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    If the attacker’s quote ““If they didn’t insult my prophet, I wouldn’t have come here. If he didn’t involve himself in my religion, I would not have come here” isn’t Islamic Terorism, what is!
    Praying peace over the whole situation, in Jesus name.

  3. Stephen Lewin 18 April 2024 at 3:52 am - Reply

    the prayers for the attacker issued by The Bishop could be a significant spark to ignite prayers of intercession in a greater magnitude accross the body of Christ , the Ecclesia …so that the destined revival and transformation for Australia May come to its fullest degree

    Thank you for this article

  4. Leonie Robson 18 April 2024 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    As Mario Malik, a member of the congregation and reporter said, the church has about 300 members, and the people who did so much trouble that night were ‘,visitors’.
    Outrage spills over and the heat of the moment, coupled with a hangover from NSW Police practices during lockdown becomes an opportunity for those predisposed to anger and violence.
    Prayers for peace.
    Some will listen.

  5. Gail Petherick 27 April 2024 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    I grieve that Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was ever attacked but thank God for his recovery and his forgiveness of the 16yr old attacker. I was astounded to hear one report by a Christian reporter saying the knife of the attacker didn’t open and as a result as he lunged at the Bishop, the blade retracted and cut off three of his own fingers. We may never know (till we are in heaven) what the Lord saved the Bishop from, but I would guess God intervened in that attack and saved his life.
    Bishop Emmaneul is an amazing man of God and has been courage in his messages showing that Jesus Christ died for all, and is the only way to be saved quoting ‘I am the way the truth and the Life, none come unto the father but by me.’ He has explicitly apologized for having to share the truth in other sermons saying ‘I am sorry’ that Mohammed can’t save, nor can other gods, as it is Jesus who was raised form the death and who lives at the right hand of God.
    This dear man of God has shown the way of genuine love for all people (including Muslims whom he loved and welcomed) and has shown selfless acts of forgiveness despite his own injuries. The other priest ministering that night was also injured as he bravely sought to save the life of the Bishop. The congregation within the church too flocked to try to help the Bishop. God protected His flock.
    It was terrible tragedy that the scene was blocked off when outsiders came from others streets and prevented the police and ambulance workers from carrying out their emergency work. We can only thank God no one died at the scene of the stabbing, and also no one died due to delayed medical help and pray lessons are learnt from their interference, so this doesn’t happen again.

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