CBS Local — A Pennsylvania school district says it’s canceling classes at an elementary school because a church down the street is hosting a ceremony featuring AR-15 rifles.
The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland is encouraging couples to bring their AR-15 rifles to a blessing ceremony on Feb. 28. The church believes the AR-15 symbolizes the “rod of iron” in the biblical book of Revelation. According to the church’s website, the ceremony will focus on each couples’ pledge to defend their home and the biblical kingdom of God referred to in scripture.
The superintendent of the Wallenpaupack Area School District says “there is no direct threat,” but wrote in a letter to parents that given concerns about the “nature of this event” students will be bused to schools about 15 miles away.
“We respect your decision if you choose to keep your children home for the day,” Superintendent Michael Silsby wrote.
The Newfoundland church is a breakaway faction of the Unification Church, which has reportedly distanced itself from the event and says its ceremonies and theology do not involve weapons. The Unification Sanctuary’s leader, Rev. Sean Moon, is the son ofwho was a self-proclaimed messiah and founder the Unification Church.
“It saddens us that Reverend Moon’s son has chosen to separate himself and walk in opposition to his parent’s legacy building world peace,” Rev. Richard Buessing, president of the Unification Church, said in a statement obtained by CBS News.
[H/T CBS Philly]