A church in Pennsylvania held a blessing ceremony for couples and their AR-15 rifles just two weeks after a 19-year-old gunman used a similar rifle to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Fla.
The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, considered to be a religious cult by many, hosted the event at which couples renewed their vows and received blessings on their unloaded rifles, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Rev. Sean Moon prayed at the ceremony and called for “a kingdom of peace police and peace militia where the citizens, through the right given to them by almighty God to keep and bear arms, will be able to protect one another and protect human flourishing.”
The religious group views AR-15s as religious symbols.
One attendee told the Tribune that she and her husband own an AR-15 to protect themselves from “sickos and evil psychopaths.”
“People have the right to bear arms, and in God’s kingdom, you have to protect that,” she said. “You have to protect against evil.”