Pastor stabbed in the pulpit prayed for his attacker

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By Michael Ashcraft –

Firebrand preacher Mar Mari Emmanuel, an Assyrian bishop in Australia, was stabbed while he preached Monday by a masked assailant that police said was motivated by terrorism.

“If (he) didn’t insult my prophet, I wouldn’t have come here,” the arrested suspect was reported to have said in Reuters. Police said the suspect came from some distance, proof of premeditation.

Mari Emmanuel has racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube preaching the unadulterated Word of God, mincing no words to call out sin and falsehood. Clad in traditional robes of the Ancient Church of the East, he looks like he should be officiating Aramaic rituals instead of aiming unrelentingly at LGBTQ, Covid lockdowns, unbridled American greed and the militant Islam that strangles his native land.

Because of his reach on the internet, he’s been nicknamed the TikTok Bishop. With grizzled beard, cowl and oversized cross, the iconoclast looks like a Medieval priest who stormed out of the pass to slice up modernity mercilessly.

Monday’s attack was Sydney’s second knife attack in three days. A black-clad youth approached, pulled out a switchblade and proceeded to slash and hack at the surprised priest right behind the pulpit. Police said the minister was rushed to the hospital where he is recovering from non serious lacerations.

There are reports which say that Mari Emanuel stood up and prayed for his attacker right after the assault. A young man was arrested and apparently detained at the Good Shepherd Church in Wakely, a suburb of Sydney.

Supporters of the bishop mobbed the church and demanded police hand the terrorist over to them.

People who had been watching the sermon live on YouTube immediately flooded the church, angry that a terrorist had attacked their beloved overseer. “Bring him out here!” one man challenged police, as reported by 7News. “Why you protecting terrorists?”

Growing more boisterous, the crowd threw rocks and bricks. At least one news outlet called the manifestations of outrage a “riot.” To restore order, police had to shoot tear gas and seven protesters were taken to hospitals. Twenty police cars were damaged, Reuters reported.

The Ancient Church of the East condemned the violence. “The Church denounces retaliation of any kind,” a statement says.

At this writing, police had not linked the attack on the bishop to a stabbing Saturday in which six people were killed and 12 injured at a beachside mall in the Bondi area of Sydney.

Mari Emmanuel was born in 1970 in Haditha, Iraq, to a family steeped in the traditional Christianity of the region. As a youngster, he immigrated to Australia, settling in Sydney, where he graduated and became a banker before taking vows of priesthood in 2009.

It’s ironic that a minister in garb from the past would be one of the most relevant voices for the present. He’s blasted President Biden, for his stance on LGBTQ issues, and the current “woke Pope.” His podcast “Satan has Engulfed the Churches” has garnered much attention. His scathing indictments have been too good to keep cornered away with only the Assyrian Christians he serves.

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