Six white buses rumbled through the small town of Newfoundland, and pulled around the white clapboard side of the Sanctuary church. Hundreds of visitors got out, the men in dark suits, the women in shades of white. At the entrance of the church, volunteers were zip-tying worshippers’ AR-15s to secure them. A marquee was set up outside, with televisions, to accommodate the additional guests who’d flown in.
Most of the audience members — those who’d been blessed by Rev. Moon or Pastor Moon’s church — wore crowns. They ranged from cheap plastic to intricately designed tiaras with pearl inlay, some of which were sold at the Freedom Festival.
But Moon, 40, isn’t any ordinary pastor. He’s the son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a Korean self-proclaimed messiah, accused cult leader, and founder of an international religious movement whose followers became known as “Moonies.” Last year, Pastor Sean Moon started his own church in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. It has some of the same philosophies as his father’s, but with a pretty significant twist:
“In John, Chapter 2, we see that Jesus is an assault weapons manufacturer,” Moon, who studied theology at Harvard, told the audience.
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