Teen charged with terrorism after stabbing Sydney church bishop

Bishop Emmanuel

19th April 2024 – (Sydney) In Sydney, a 16-year-old boy has been charged with committing a terrorist act following the stabbing of an Assyrian church bishop during a service. Australian police, who have been intensively investigating the case, reported the charges on Friday, April 19, as they continue to delve into the violent aftermath which included a riot.

The teenager, currently hospitalized under police supervision due to injuries sustained, was interrogated by the joint counterterrorism team on Thursday. New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb, during a press briefing, informed that the youth had travelled 90 minutes from his residence to the church before allegedly assaulting Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel multiple times.

Denied bail, the accused is set to face a court hearing from his hospital bed on Friday. Commissioner Webb highlighted the severity of the attack, noting that the bishop was stabbed up to six times.

The stabbing sparked a severe riot outside the Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church, with a mob demanding that the assailant be surrendered to them. This tumult resulted in injuries to over 50 police officers and extensive damage to 20 police vehicles.

Bishop Emmanuel, aged 53 and a prominent figure on the social media platform TikTok, is known for his engaging sermons and has been a subject of online hate due to his outspoken views on various social issues. Despite the attack, he expressed forgiveness towards his attacker in a recent audio message and confirmed his swift recovery.