Church Offers To Bless Home-Defense Rifles

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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A Pennsylvania church requested its congregation bring their guns to be blessed or purchase a gift card showing intent to buy a gun.

The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Penn., directed its parishioners to bring their AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles to church to be blessed as “rods of iron (mentioned in the Book of Revelations as the tools by which the righteous will rule and quell evil)” at a Feb. 28 ceremony, according to Sky News. The church views rifles as “the intent and the ability to defend one’s family, community.”Americans without guns are urged to buy a $700 gift card symbolic of intent to purchase from any local gun shop.

The church website avails nonparticipation in the ceremony or refusal to buy a gun “would be a sign of great disrespect.” It adverted the blessing in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, saying parishioners with “rods of iron” are needed to prevent such atrocities.

“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,” World Peace and Unification Sanctuary world-missions director Tim Elder told Sky News.

All weapons brought to the church will be unloaded, checked at the door, and zip-tied, Elder specified to Sky News. The Newfoundland location is a Rev. Sean Moon-led Unification Church offshoot. His father’s the church founder and self-proclaimed messiah Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The Pa. location runs Rod of Iron Ministries, which is dedicated to promoting Second Amendment rights. The ministry will host a President Trump Thank You Dinner to raise funds for Gun Owners of America. The church is largely seen as a cult that adopts some of Christianity’s superficial trappings. South Korean Christian churches have even labeled it, while U.S. churches do not view it as Christian at all.

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