An Assyrian church bishop who was stabbed during a livestreamed mass outside of Sydney gave an update on his condition Thursday and said he had forgiven his attacker.

A 16-year-old male suspect, who has not been publicly identified, was taken into custody following the attack Monday night at the Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley. Authorities described the assault as a “terrorist incident.” 

“I am doing fine, recovering very quickly … there is no need to be worried or concerned,” Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel said in an audio message posted on social media, his first public comments since the attack. “I forgive whoever has done this act … I will always pray for you and whoever sent you to do this, I forgive them as well.”

Bishop Emmanuel, who was injured in the attack, is the leader of a conservative sect of the Assyrian Orthodox faith. He has a strong social media following and is outspoken on a range of issues, including the war in Gaza and COVID-19 restrictions, according to Reuters.  

AUSTRALIA SAYS BISHOP, PRIEST’S CHURCH STABBING WAS A ‘TERRORIST INCIDENT’

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel

A supplied image obtained on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, shows Senior Parish Priest Fr. Isaac Royel (L) and Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel during the 2023 Holy Resurrection Feast services, in Sydney, Australia. (AAP Image/Supplied by Christ The Good Shepherd Church via Reuters)

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

The male suspect remains in custody and is in the hospital under police guard, Reuters reported.

On the night of the attack, an angry crowd fought emergency crews outside the church and demanded that the suspected attacker be handed over to them, Reuters reported. 

SYDNEY CHURCH STABBING SUSPECT IN CUSTODY 

bishop stabbed in church

An attacker approaches Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel during a church service at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, Sydney, Australia, on April 15, 2024, in this still image from social media livestream video.  (Christ The Good Shepherd Church/Reuters)

New South Wales state Police Commissioner Karen Webb said a 19-year-old man, who was not a member of the church, was charged in connection with his role in the riot.

“People just came along to participate in a riot. That is disgraceful and disgusting,” Webb said at a news conference.

AUSTRALIAN KILLER’S FATHER REVEALS WHY SON TARGETED WOMEN DURING DEADLY STABBING AT SYDNEY MALL 

Cleanup crews sweep broken glass after mob attacks police in Sydney following church stabbing

Broken glass is cleaned up from the road after police held back an angry mob following a stabbing at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in the suburb of Wakeley in Sydney, Australia. (AAP Image/Paul Braven/Reuters)

Nearly 50 officers were injured, and 20 police cars were damaged in the riot, which is currently under investigation. 

In his message, Bishop Emmanuel urged members of his church to remain calm and respect the law.

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The attack happened just days after a stabbing spree at a mall in Sydney left six dead. 

Westfield Bondi Junction, the six-level shopping mall in Sydney, reopened Thursday to allow people inside to pay their respects to the victims, while stores remain closed. A white floral tribute was laid out on the second floor and businesses are expected to reopen on Friday, Reuters reported.

Fox News Digital’s Greg Norman and Reuters contributed to this report.

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