Four injured in stabbing attack at Assyrian church in Australia, man arrested

Incident occurs during live-streamed service in Sydney suburb central to small Christian community that fled war in Iraq and Syria; second stabbing to rock city in days

New South Wales police guard the perimeter of the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney's western suburb of Wakeley after several people were stabbed in the church premises, on April 15, 2024 (David Gray/AFP)
New South Wales police guard the perimeter of the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney's western suburb of Wakeley after several people were stabbed in the church premises, on April 15, 2024 (David Gray/AFP)

SYNDEY — Four people were  being treated for “non-life threatening injuries” after a stabbing at a live-streamed church service in Sydney, Australia, on Monday, the latest knife attack to rock the city.

Australian police said they had arrested one man, after a member of the congregation at an Assyrian church rushed at the dais and slashed at the bishop, causing pandemonium.

Verified video of Monday’s attack was taken at the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney’s western suburb of Wakeley.

The neighborhood is a hub for Sydney’s small Christian Assyrian community, many of whom fled persecution and war in Iraq and Syria.

Amid the panic and screams, several churchgoers rushed to safety while others tried to subdue the attacker.

The ambulance service said that four men aged between 20 and 70 were being treated for injuries, including lacerations.

Locals gather with police guarding the perimeter of the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney’s western suburb of Wakeley on April 15, 2024. (David Gray/AFP)

“The injured individuals suffered non-life threatening injuries and were treated by New South Wales Ambulance paramedics before being conveyed to hospital,” police added. “A male was arrested and remains in police custody.”

Police attempted to control angry crowds gathered outside the church after the attack, demanding the suspect be brought outside, according to a witness.

The incident came two days after a man with a knife killed six at a shopping mall in the east of Sydney.

A journalist from AFP at the scene saw projectiles being hurled, before police with riot shields and armor pushed the protesters away from the church.

“He has been removed from the church and taken to an undisclosed location,” police said. They urged the public to avoid the area amid “a large police response.”

The Christ the Good Shepherd Church holds a Bible session every Monday evening.

Police said they began to receive emergency calls from the scene at “about 7:10 p.m.”

A black ribbon is projected onto the Sydney Opera House on April 15, 2024, as a mark of respect for the victims of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall attack. (David Gray/AFP)

Australians are still reeling from Saturday’s stabbing, which was carried out by a 40-year-old man with a history of mental illness.

In that attack, videos shared on social media showed unshaven itinerant Joel Cauchi pursuing mostly female victims as he rampaged through the vast, crowded Westfield shopping complex in Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon.

A black ribbon was projected onto the Sydney Opera House on Monday as a mark of respect for the victims.

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