Worshippers clutching AR-15 rifles have drunk holy wine and exchanged wedding vows in a commitment ceremony at a Pennsylvania-based church.
The event at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland led a nearby school to cancel classes.
The Rev Sean Moon, who leads the church, said in a prayer that God gave people the right to bear arms.
Mr Moon is the son of the Rev Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, often described as a cult.
The sanctuary believes the AR-15 symbolises the “rod of iron” in the book of Revelation, and encouraged couples to bring the weapons to the ceremony.
An AR-15 was used in Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Outside the church a protester held a sign calling the group an “armed cult”.