Who is Mari Mari Emmanuel? Assyrian Orthodox Bishop stabbed in Sydney church attack during live-stream service

Bishop Mari Mari Emmanuel was stabbed while presiding over a service that was being live-streamed at Christ The Good Shepherd Church.

Published on Apr 16, 2024  |  04:28 PM IST |  162.3K
(Image Courtesy: Twitter)
Image courtesy: Twitter
Key Highlight
  • Mar Mari Emmanuel is a bishop and leader of the Assyrian Orthodox Christ the Good Shpeherd Church
  • On Monday, Bishop Emmanuel was attacked during a sermon which was live-streamed

Trigger Warning: The following article contains mentions of violent events 

Merely 48 hours following a mass stabbing incident in a busy shopping mall in the Australian city, authorities reported that a bishop and a priest were stabbed in what is believed to be a "terrorist act" at a church in Sydney.

Bishop Mari Mari Emmanuel stabbed during a live-stream service

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was presiding a live-streamed service at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in the Wakeley area when he noticed an attacker approaching him. According to reports, the attacker stabbed the bishop multiple times. Within moments, screaming could be heard inside the church, and other parishioners attempted to get out.

Police took a 16-year-old youngster into custody at the scene and took him to an undisclosed location. On Tuesday morning, the NSW Government said that the incident was being investigated as a potential terror attack.


Bishop Emmanuel sustained multiple injuries to the head and body, according to a statement from Christ The Good Shepherd Church. It stated that no one else was hurt inside the church, but parish priest Father Isaac Royel was hurt as well. 

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Social media users were upset by the incident and flocked to the church as soon as they saw a video of it, according to the police. There were frantic scenes captured on camera as individuals flung things at police cars.

Who is Bishop Mari Mari Emmanuel?

Emmanuel was born into a pious Christian family in Haditha, Al Anbar Governorate, Iraq, in 1970. After spending his childhood in Baghdad, he moved to Sydney, Australia, in the early 1980s and attended Fairfield High School there. In the 1990s, he worked as a bank manager In the late 1990s, he was ordained as a deacon and in 2009, he became a priest.


He received his episcopal ordination in the Ancient Church of the East in 2011, but following his excommunication from that church in 2015, he founded a separate Eastern Syriac church. His teachings are broadcast live on the 240,000-strong Facebook and YouTube following pages of Christ the Good Shepherd Church.

Due to his popularity, he now has thousands of followers on his internet fan pages. He has also been interviewed on numerous conservative YouTube programs, where he has discussed COVID-19, religion, and homosexuality. 

On July 19, 2021, amid the Sydney lockdown and SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant outbreaks, Emmanuel delivered an internet sermon criticizing the COVID-19 vaccination program and lockdowns. He said that the coronavirus is "just another type of the flu, no more, no less," and referred to it as a "pandemic."

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