The meaning behind the crowns and robes worshipers wore during an AR-15 blessing ceremony

Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy
Contributing Writer
Yahoo Lifestyle

At a blessing ceremony held Wednesday night for members of the Unification Church at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Penn., members wore very specific garb while holding AR-15s, the kind of firearm used by the perpetrator of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14.

The white robes, pink overlays, and gold crowns worn by participants in the service weren’t without meaning, Regis Hanna, the media coordinator for Sanctuary Church, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

The men and women were in fact wearing white “blessing gowns” with bright sashes to signify their role as royal attendants to Pastor Sean Moon, who himself was dressed in a crown and royal robes as the Second King of Cheon Il Guk, the Unification Church’s name for the kingdom of heaven on earth. The design for these blessing gowns was “received in a revelation by a member in Korea in the early days of our movement,” Hanna says.

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

As he explains, “the Kingdom of Heaven starts from families, so our focus is on building strong, God-centered families.” Therefore, members of the church, who believe that God-centered families are royal families, wear “crowns as co-heirs with Christ, who is the King of Kings.”

And it’s because members see themselves as royal that they also carry AR-15s, Hanna says. “God-centered families are sovereign and prepared to defend themselves and their communities. That is where the need for the Rod of Iron, or the AR-15, comes in. To love God and love our neighbor is what Christ commanded us to do,” Hanna notes.

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

Rev. Sean Moon’s brother, Justin Moon, is the owner of Kahr Arms, a gun manufacturer. This weekend, Sanctuary Church and Kahr Arms co-sponsored a “President Trump Thank You Dinner” to benefit the Gun Owners Foundation. An AR-15 was raffled off at the event.

Rev. Sean Moon and Justin Moon are the two sons of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church and a messiah claimant. The Unification Church has come under scrutiny from the hate-crime watchdog group the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-LGBT views.

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