A man stabbed a Brazilian pastor in the neck during a televised church service, witnesses say.
Brazilian Evangelical pastor Valdemiro Santiago was stabbed in the neck at a church in Sao Paulo, the Daily Mail reported.
The congregant allegedly stabbed him in the neck and back three times with a 35-centimeter knife as Santiago was about to perform a laying on of the hands ritual.
“The pastor kindly leaned down to embrace a young man, who took out a knife and stabbed him in the throat,” Bishop Jorge Pinheiro told AFP.
Santiago was taken to the hospital following the attack, where he received 25 stitches and was then released a few hours later.
“May God bless and forgive the person who did this,” Santiago said after the attack.
Jonathan Gomes Higino, 20, was arrested following the incident Sunday, according to Veja.
Higino, in a statement to police, said that Santiago provoked him during a World Cup service in July when he said, “Let us crucify him.”
Local media said Higino was unstable and was probably upset by what he said in the July service.
Higino will face attempted murder charges.
Santiago broke away from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in 1998 and created his own successful congregation in Brazil.
In his televised services, “he is known for claiming miracles such as healing cancer patients and restoring sight to the blind.”