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Sydney church stabbing suspect in custody after bishop, parishioners injured during livestreamed Mass

A suspect was arrested after stabbing and injuring multiple individuals, including a priest, during a church service in a suburb of Sydney on Monday night.

Australian police have arrested a man suspected of stabbing a church leader and multiple parishioners during Mass on Monday night, authorities said.

The attack happened at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, a suburb in southwest Sydney, during a Mass that was being livestreamed.

Police responded around 7:10 p.m. to Welcome Street following reports that multiple people were stabbed, New South Wales Police said in a statement.

Officers arrested a male suspect, who was being interviewed by authorities. Those injured in the stabbing suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were treated at the scene before being transported to a hospital, police said.

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The church's livestream showed a man, later identified as Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, behind the altar in the church when a man walked toward him holding an unknown object. The man lunged at him and began to stab him in the chest. 

Churchgoers screamed and rushed to help the bishop, who could be seen falling to the ground as the suspect continued to attack.

Bishop Emmanuel is the leader of a conservative sect of the Assyrian Orthodox faith, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Faith New South Wales CEO Murray Norman told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the stabbing was "horrific." 

"I haven't heard about his condition, but the faith communities are desperately grieving and praying for the bishop, it's just horrible that this could happen after everything that's happened this week," Norman said.

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