18 Apr 2024

Stabbed Sydney Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel publicly forgives attacker

1:20 pm on 18 April 2024
Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed during a service at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Sydney on 15 April 2024.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. Photo: Screenshot / YouTube

The bishop who was stabbed at a Sydney church on Monday night says he forgives his attacker and is "doing fine" after undergoing surgery.

The Assyrian Orthodox Christ The Good Shepherd Church posted an update on social media on Thursday morning that included an audio recording from the bishop.

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested over the attack and authorities are investigating it as a "terrorist incident". No charges have been laid.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel said he forgived "whoever has done this act".

"I will always pray for you. And whoever sent you to do this, I forgive them as well is Jesus's mighty name," he said.

In his almost four-minute speech, Bishop Emmanuel reassured his followers he was improving.

"I'm doing fine, recovering very quickly. We thank the Lord Jesus, so there is no need to be worried or concerned," he said.

Father Daniel Kochou, who also spoke in the video, said Father Isaac Royel, who was also attacked on Monday night was "recovering well".

He added "nearby church members" who were attacked had also "received special care".

'Jesus never taught us to retaliate'

Father Kochou also said the church "does not condone the activities" that took place outside the church following Bishop Emmanuel's attack.

"The unfortunate events which took place outside the church caused unnecessary delays and threats to both victims, paramedics and police," he said.

"There was a large contingent of people who were not members of the church who attended and caused a major disturbance."

Bishop Emmanuel also told his community to remember the teachings of Jesus Christ and not retaliate and cooperate with police investigating the assault and subsequent unrest outside.

"I need you to act Christ-like. The Lord Jesus never taught us to fight. The Lord Jesus never taught us to retaliate. The Lord Jesus never said to us, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'."

"I need you to be always law-abiding citizen(s) as well. We need to cooperate with the police directives, whether it be at a state level or a federal level.

"We pray for our country, our beloved country, Australia, and our beautiful city of Sydney."

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said, after the attack, Bishop Emmanual was "lucky to be alive".

The 53-year-old, a prominent conservative leader of the Assyrian Orthodox Christ the Good Shepherd Church, underwent surgery after sustaining lacerations to his head from the attack.

- This story was originally published by the ABC.

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