Religious group known for AR-15 ceremony buys property in Tennessee

The Rod of Iron Ministries, a gun-obsessed religious group, has now reportedly purchased property in Tennessee that will be turned into a so-called “training facility” for its members.

The Pennsylvania-based church has appeared in headlines sporadically in recent years, including in a 2018 NPR article highlighting an “armed ceremony” that included everything from bullet-adorned wreaths to AR-15-style rifles. used as interpretations of the Holy Bible “bar of iron” mention.

A new report from Vice News, released Tuesday, says the newly acquired 130-acre property in Tennessee marks the latest sign the group is pushing for expansion. Pastor Hyung Jin Sean Moon, the son of the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon, is known for starting a branch of the Unification Church after his father died. Founded by his father, the Unification Church was known for its implementation of mass wedding ceremonies, a trait that also appears in the Rod of Iron Ministries world, albeit with firearms.

The original congregation faced years of abuse allegations, many of which centered on the original “spiritual retreat” that could soon be emulated in Tennessee. Mentioned in a recent sermon by Moon were plans for the Tennessee site – which Vice News said was sold for $460,000 – to include schools and training centers, as well as separate living cabins for men. and women.

The “core values” cited by the Rod of Iron Ministries group on an official website include, among others, “defending our family, our neighbor and the kingdom of God through the biblical word of God and the culture of self-defense” and “mind-body unity through self-defense training.

A spokesperson for the main Unification Church congregation is quoted in Tess Owen’s report on Tuesday as saying that the Rod of Iron sect does not “represent the legacy of the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon”. For more, including information on Rod Group’s Capitol Riot and MAGA connections, go here.

This 2018 article from the Southern Poverty Law Center also deserves careful analysis, detailing followers invited “by the king” to participate in a ceremony in which attending with an AR-15 would be considered “a substantial blessing of” stadium of perfect”. .” This more recent breakdown, again from the SPLC team, is also essential reading.