Violent Unrest Follows Stabbing Attack at Sydney Church

Violent unrest erupts in Sydney after a church stabbing attack, leaving police injured and prompting expanded security measures. The incident has heightened tensions between Assyrian Christian and Muslim communities.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Violent Unrest Follows Stabbing Attack at Sydney Church

Violent Unrest Follows Stabbing Attack at Sydney Church

A stabbing attack during a livestreamed church service in Sydney's west has sparked violent unrest, with hundreds of people clashing with police outside the church where the alleged attacker was being held. The incident occurred on Monday at the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, where the controversial leader of the Assyrian church, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, and a priest were stabbed by a 16-year-old assailant.

The attack was followed by a riot outside the church, resulting in two police officers being hospitalized with serious injuries and 10 police cars being damaged. The NSW Police Commissioner declared the attack a religion-based "terrorist incident", triggering expanded powers for law enforcement to stop and search people, premises, and vehicles without a warrant.

The alleged attacker has a history of knife-related crimes , having been found with a knife at school in 2020 and placed on a good behavior bond over a knife crime three months ago. He is currently under police guard in the hospital as the investigation continues.

Why this matters: The stabbing attack and subsequent unrest have heightened tensions in Sydney's west, particularly between the Assyrian Christian and Muslim communities. The incident also comes just days after a separate mass stabbing at a shopping center in Bondi Junction that left one woman dead and several others injured, putting the city further on edge.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and ASIO director-general were briefed on the church attack. Albanese condemned the violence in both incidents and called for unity, respect for law enforcement, and strengthening of knife laws in response. The Assyrian church has also appealed for calm as authorities work to piece together what happened and prevent further violence from erupting.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has been ordered by the Australian government to remove any videos or photos depicting the violence at the church within 24 hours. Meanwhile, the baby who was injured in the Bondi Junction attack has been released from the ICU and is in stable condition after her mother, Ashlee Good, was killed trying to protect her from the assailant.

Key Takeaways

  • Stabbing attack at Sydney church sparks violent unrest, 2 cops injured
  • Alleged 16-year-old attacker has history of knife crimes, now under police guard
  • Attack declared a religion-based "terrorist incident", expanded police powers
  • Heightened tensions between Assyrian Christian and Muslim communities
  • Government orders social media to remove videos/photos of church violence