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Mar Mari Emmanuel: Bishop Stabbed Last Night - Who is He?

Stabbing at Sydney church labeled "terrorist act" by police commissioner, involving ultra-conservative church leader known for anti-LGBTQIA+ views.

The recent stabbing attack at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Western Sydney, which left four people hospitalized, has been deemed a "terrorist act" by NSW Police commissioner Karen Webb. The attack occurred during a live-streamed sermon, where Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed by a teenager who was subsequently apprehended at the scene. Despite not being on a terrorism watch list, authorities believe the perpetrator acted alone. Emmanuel remains in critical condition, while the other three injured congregation members are expected to recover.

Emmanuel, the leader of an ultra-conservative faction of the Assyrian Orthodox faith, has garnered attention in recent years for his controversial views. Known for his anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and skepticism towards the pandemic, Emmanuel has delivered sermons such as "Understanding Why LGBT Is A Crime Against God," where he dehumanizes transgender individuals. He has also been associated with the Christian Lives Matter (CLM) movement, a group that opposes LGBTQIA+ rights and gained traction following the marriage equality debate in Australia.

The CLM movement, founded in 2017 under the guise of protecting persecuted Christians in the Middle East, has a significant online presence with over 25,000 members. The group has been involved in contentious events, including a clash with LGBTQIA+ activists outside an event featuring former One Nation MP Mark Latham. Despite denying responsibility for the ensuing violence, CLM has been criticized for its aggressive tactics, including doxxing individuals involved in protests.

Emmanuel's following grew during the COVID-19 lockdowns due to his skepticism towards pandemic measures. He referred to the restrictions as "mass slavery" and downplayed the severity of COVID-19, asserting that vaccines were unnecessary. The recent attack at his church has raised questions about the motives behind the act, with authorities still investigating the incident.

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