AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

Crown-wearing worshipers clutching AR-15 rifles drank holy wine and exchanged or renewed wedding vows in a commitment ceremony at a Pennsylvania church on Wednesday, prompting a nearby school to cancel classes.

With state police and a smattering of protesters standing watch outside the church, brides clad in white and grooms in dark suits brought dozens of unloaded AR-15s into World Peace and Unification Sanctuary for a religious event that doubled as an advertisement for the Second Amendment.

The church, which has a worldwide following, believes the AR-15 symbolizes the “rod of iron” in the book of Revelation, and encouraged couples to bring the weapons. An AR-15 was used in the Florida high school massacre on Feb. 14.

The Rev. Sean Moon, who leads the church, prayed 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.”

Moon is the son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, which critics regard as a cult. The younger Moon’s congregation is a breakaway faction of the Unification Church, which had distanced itself from Wednesday’s event.

Read more of the story by the Associated Press >>>

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<p>A woman holding an unloaded weapon closes her eyes during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

A woman holding an unloaded weapon closes her eyes during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

<p>A woman has her weapon checked for being unloaded and zip-tied at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

A woman has her weapon checked for being unloaded and zip-tied at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

<p>Anti-gun protesters stand outside as couples with AR-15 rifles and other guns participate in a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania on February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

Anti-gun protesters stand outside as couples with AR-15 rifles and other guns participate in a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania on February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

<p>An AR-15 rifle is inspected before a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania on February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

An AR-15 rifle is inspected before a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania on February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

<p>Men wear crowns and hold unloaded weapons at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

Men wear crowns and hold unloaded weapons at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

<p>A man wears a crown and holds an unloaded weapon at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

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

<p>A woman wears a crown and holds an unloaded weapon as she bows her head during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018, in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

A woman wears a crown and holds an unloaded weapon as she bows her head during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018, in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

<p>A standing woman holds an unloaded weapon during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

A standing woman holds an unloaded weapon during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

<p>Couples hold AR-15 rifles and other guns during a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary on February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

Couples hold AR-15 rifles and other guns during a ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary on February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

<p>A woman wears a crown made of ammunition during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

A woman wears a crown made of ammunition during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

<p>Worshippers at World Peace and Unification Sanctuary hold weapons during their service February 28, 2018 in New Foundland, Pennsylvania.<br> (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

Worshippers at World Peace and Unification Sanctuary hold weapons during their service February 28, 2018 in New Foundland, Pennsylvania.
(Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Worshippers at World Peace and Unification Sanctuary hold weapons during their service February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania.<br>(Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

Worshippers at World Peace and Unification Sanctuary hold weapons during their service February 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania.
(Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A woman wears a crown and holds an unloaded weapon during services at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

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

<p>Protesters gather in front of the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP) </p>
AR-15-bearing churchgoers attend pro-Second Amendment service in Pa.

Protesters gather in front of the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018 in Newfoundland, Pa. (Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

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