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Sydney Church Stabbing Prompts Police Response Amidst Anger

Screengrab of the attack at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley/Stuff

A 15-year-old boy was arrested following a stabbing incident involving a bishop and a father at an Assyrian Orthodox Christian church in Sydney's western suburbs, according to Stuff.

The attack at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley caused significant outrage, leading to police seeking refuge inside the building to protect the detained teenager.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was delivering a sermon, which was being livestreamed, when the 15-year-old reportedly approached and stabbed him multiple times just after 7 pm on Monday.

Father Isaac Royel was also stabbed, according to police. Both Emmanuel and Royel were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Parishioners intervened, managing to apprehend the teenager before the police arrived, Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland said in a late-night press conference.

However, Holland noted that an emotional crowd quickly gathered outside the church.



Following the incident, NSW Premier Chris Minns chaired an urgent crisis control meeting with leaders from various faiths, all agreeing on the need for calm.

More than 100 police officers and over 30 police vehicles, including specialist units and the police helicopter, were deployed to the area.

A confrontation occurred between police and the crowd outside the church, resulting in injuries to several officers and damage to police vehicles.

Holland stated that it took several hours for the police to bring the situation under control.

Footage from the scene showed police using capsicum spray at one stage to disperse the crowd. Police also used a ladder to break down a door to reach ambulance workers who were seeking shelter behind it.

The teenager was eventually removed from the church and taken to an undisclosed location for his own safety, Holland said. He suffered "quite severe" hand injuries and appeared to be upset and distraught.

"He's asked to speak to his parents at this stage, and we're making arrangements," Holland added.

Although the 15-year-old was known to police, Holland declined to provide further details, stating that the investigation was still in its early stages.

Minns described the scenes at the church as "disturbing" and expressed his thoughts and prayers for the victims and first responders.

"It's important that the community remain calm and continue to listen to and follow the directions of the police and emergency services," Minns said in a statement.

"We are a strong community in NSW, and it's important that we all stick together, particularly in the face of adversity."

Frank Carbone, the Mayor of Fairfield, appealed to the community to "stay calm" and to pray for the bishop.

"It's terrible that such a thing could happen anywhere - doesn't matter if it's a church or shopping centre," Carbone said.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Australia condemned the attack and offered their prayers for Emmanuel's recovery.

The Christ The Good Shepherd Church released a statement saying Emmanuel and Royel were in a stable condition and requested people to leave the area.

Emmanuel has been a divisive figure in the church's community, with many of his sermons shared online.

The motive for the attack remains unclear, and there is no indication that it is linked to the recent stabbing incident at Sydney's Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre, where six people were killed.

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