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Wakeley church stabbing: Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel makes emotional return to Christ The Good Shepherd Church, defends free speech

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An Assyrian Christian Bishop who was allegedly stabbed in a terror attack inside his Sydney church has made an emotional return to his pulpit.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel received a standing ovation from parishioners on Sunday before delivering a fiery sermon defending free speech and slamming Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

He was allegedly attacked by a 16-year-old boy during a livestream of his sermon at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley in Sydney’s south-west on April 15 in horrifying scenes that shocked Australia and the world.

Less than a fortnight later he returned to the altar for Palm Sunday, which is part of Orthodox Easter.

Sporting a white eyepatch over his right eye and carrying a gold cross, Bishop Emmanuel stood in the same place where he was allegedly stabbed and began his service in Arabic.

Several days after he called for the footage of his alleged attack to remain online when the government ordered it removed from social media, the bishop called out Mr Albanese in an impassioned defence of freedom of speech and religion.

Bishop Emmanuel said that he cannot ‘fathom’ how freedom of speech could not be possible in a democratic country like Australia.

‘I say to our beloved, the Australian government, and our beloved Prime Minister, the honourable Mr Albanese, I believe in one thing and that is the integrity and the identity of the human being,’ he said.

‘This human identity, this human integrity, is a God-given gift, no one else.

‘Every human being has the right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion… I should not worry for my life to be exposed to threat or to be taken away.’

He pointed out that Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Atheists had the right to express their beliefs.

‘Also the Christians have the right to express their beliefs, and for us to say, that free speech is dangerous, that free speech cannot be possible in a democratic country, I’m yet to fathom this,’ he continued.

‘We should be able as civilised human beings, as intellectuals, we should be able to criticise, to speak, and maybe, at some certain times, we may sound, or we may come across offensive to some degree, but we should be able to say, “I should not worry for my life to be exposed to threat or to be taken away”.





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