US: Church asks worshippers to bring assault rifles to blessing

Sky News:-  A church in Pennsylvania is inviting couples to bring their assault rifles to be blessed with them at a commitment ceremony.

Worshippers at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland are being asked to turn up with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle or equivalents such as an AK semi-automatic rifle, representing both the intent and the ability to defend one’s family, community…”

 An AR-15 was the weapon used by Nikolas Cruz when he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, killing 17 people on Valentine’s Day.

Tim Elder, the church’s director of world missions, said it believes the AR-15 symbolises the “rod of iron” mentioned in the Bible’s apocalyptic book of Revelation.

“Now more than ever, good people need to stand up and claim for themselves the tools that can be used to stop that kind of evil,” he said.

He said the blessing was planned months before the mass shooting, and the church was not planning to reschedule or cancel the event.

Mr Elder said all weapons brought along by the congegration would be unloaded, secured with zip ties and checked at the door.

Those who do not own an assault rifle are advised to “purchase a $700 gift certificate from a gun store, as evidence of their intent to purchase a ‘rod of iron’ in the future”.

To not take part in the 28 February ceremony “would be a sign of great disrespect”, the church’s website adds.

The Unification Sanctuary’s leader, the Reverend Sean Moon, is the son of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, which has been accused of being a cult.

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