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Trump-loving church that uses guns in holy rituals buys compound near Waco, Texas

Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, the leader of Sanctuary Church and Rod of Iron Ministries, delivers his “King’s Report” sermon from behind a golden AR-15

(Twitch screengrab)

A cult-like group that incorporates AR-15s into its worship ceremonies and embraces Donald Trump’s MAGA politics has acquired a compound for its “patriots” 40 miles from Waco in Texas.

The compound is meant to be a area of refuge for users of the Sanctuary Church – which is also called Rod of Iron Ministries – in advance of a “war” and “genocide” that will supposedly be introduced against them by the “deep state”.

Vice News noted that the church is led by Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, who is frequently referred to as “King” by his followers.

The Sanctuary Church has an strange pedigree when it incorporates American resentment politics and syncretic-Christian ideology, the team is also a immediate descendant of the Unification Church, who were being also known as the “Moonies”.

Rev. Sunshine Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed messiah and leader of the Moonie cult, is the father of “Sean” Moon, who started the Sanctuary Church in 2017.

Although the youthful Moon embraced and integrated Moonie ideology in his Sanctuary Church, what makes the team notable is its aim on firearms as objects of worship.

Sean Moon claims his inclusion of AR-15s into his church’s worship ceremonies is Biblically primarily based, citing a passage in the E-book of Revelation that speaks of Jesus applying a “rod of iron” to assert his authority throughout the Close Periods. Traditional readings of the verses interpret the “rod of iron” to be a shepherd’s personnel, which was a symbol of authority, notably when in reference to Jesus.

Under Sean Moon’s examining, the rod of iron was not a scepter or employees, but an American-manufactured AR-15.

Now the rifles are utilized in standard church services and wedding day ceremonies, with Sean Moon presiding above it all even though putting on a crown of bullets, a camouflaged fit, and holding his gold-plated AR-15.

Sean Moon’s brother, Kook-jin “Justin” Moon, just so happens to be the CEO of Kahr Arms, which manufactures guns and is headquartered near the church’s authentic foundation of operations in Pennsylvania – a hassle-free relationship for a church that worships firearms.

Members of the Sanctuary Church holding firearms in a promotional video for the religious group (YouTube screengrab)

Users of the Sanctuary Church holding firearms in a promotional video clip for the spiritual team (YouTube screengrab)

The group’s said purpose for buying a compound in Texas is to “broaden God’s Kingdom to the Western and Southern areas of the United States”, and hope it will come to be “residence to in excess of 100 web pages that will provide our community and Patriots from Texas and around the country”.

“It’s a unsafe time, and this is a spot of refuge and retreat if our local community requires it,” Mr Moon reported for the duration of a latest sermon. “Of system, in worst-situation situations.”

When Vice News reached out to leaders of nearby communities, the leaders advised the outlet that they were not informed the team was relocating in, and questioned if they ended up “likely to be a problem”.

Although the church has not created any overt threats, its ideology has turn out to be progressively militant in recent yrs.

In Sean Moon’s sermons – which are called King’s Reviews and are live-streamed on Twitch – he has identified as for his users to get ready for war and issued dark warnings that the federal govt and the “globalists” have been out to get to them.

“The internationalist Marxist globalists are hoping to get started a civil war here, so that they can deliver in the U.N. troops and Chi-Com Chinese military services to appear in and damage and eliminate all gun proprietors, Christians, and any opposition, i.e., Trump supporters,” he reported in a sermon. “We are in the dying of The united states correct now, and that’s why, of system, God is making it possible for for our enlargement.”

The Sanctuary Church promptly embraced Mr Trump immediately after it arrived into existence in 2017, and in 2019 Sean Moon informed Vice Information that he considered God was using the previous president to scrub the world of “political Satanism” and to restore the globe to its first point out of paradise as described in the Bible.

The church eagerly parroted the previous president’s lies that he missing the 2020 election owing to voter fraud, warning its members in a post a few days before the Capitol riot that some of them may perhaps die in a opportunity upcoming battle with the feds.

“Some federal brokers run as a criminal cartel and are in the system of thieving this presidential election,” the article stated. “We need to have to get ready and practice for the fight.”

The church said that it was “obviously better if we can use our rights to freedom of speech, assembly, to seek redress of grievances,” but explained if those avenues unsuccessful, “we will have to struggle bodily, with numerous dying”.

Three days later on, Mr Moon was outside the house the Capitol with associates of church as Trump loyalists tried to undermine the 2020 election.

The church maintains that none of its associates entered the making on the working day of the riot, but the church does not shy away from its assistance of the insurrection try.

Sean Moon mentioned he thinks the Capitol riot will a person working day hold the very same reverence in American heritage that the Boston Tea Social gathering of 1773 does.

Though Mr Trump has had plenty of unwanted admirers – like the KKK’s David Duke – some well known individuals within just MAGA planet truly reciprocated Sean Moon’s endorsement.

Steve Bannon, a previous adviser to Mr Trump, spoke at the group’s next yearly “Rod of Iron Independence Competition” final Oct, and Pennsylvania condition Senator Dough Mastriano – who also assisted organise “End the Steal” events – also spoke at an event for the church.

In modern months, Sean Moon’s sermons have taken on a more urgent tone, warning that “danger” was “coming for Trump supporters” and that the Biden administration was arranging to spherical “patriots” up and place them in “reeducation camps.”

“We have to understand the enemy we are dealing with,” Sean Moon explained. “We have to be prepared to pray extremely, really really hard, shift rapid, and of class, to resist on many ranges, all the evil that they are seeking to perpetrate on the planet.”

Sean Moon has even totally leaned into the Mad Max-esque “church of the gun” aesthetic he has cultivated he now dresses like a biker, carrying a black jacket with patches that include things like a crown, the phrases “Rod of Iron Ministries,” and one that represents the “Black Robed Regiment.” In at minimum one particular image he appears wearing a skull facemask even though on his bike.

Considering that its development in Pennsylvania, the team has moved into Delaware and Florida, and now Texas.

The Texas property was mentioned at just below $1m, and features a common retail store, a fishing clothing store, an industrial-sized kitchen, hook ups for RVs, cabins and camping web pages.

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