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Worshippers clutching AR-15 rifles hold commitment ceremony in Pa.

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 28, 2018 1:23 PM
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Men wear crowns and hold unloaded weapons at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland. Worshippers clutching AR-15 rifles participated in a commitment ceremony at the Pennsylvania-based church. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

(Newfoundland) -- Worshippers clutching AR-15 rifles drank holy wine and exchanged wedding vows in a commitment ceremony at a Pennsylvania-based church.

The event this morning at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Wayne County, led a nearby school to cancel classes.

The Reverence Sean Moon leads the church. He said in a prayer that God gave people the right to bear arms.

Moon is the son of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, often described as a cult.

The sanctuary believes the AR-15 symbolizes the "rod of iron" in the book of Revelation, and encouraged couples to bring the weapons to the ceremony.

An AR-15 was used in the Florida high school massacre.

Outside the church, a protester held a sign calling the group an "armed cult."

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A man wears a crown and holds an unloaded weapon at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in Newfoundland. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

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