In pictures: US gun-blessing ceremony

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image captionHundreds of couples packed a World Peace and Unification Sanctuary church in Pennsylvania to bless their weapons on Wednesday
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe church believes the gun is the "rod of iron" cited in the Book of Revelation
image copyrightEPA
image captionA woman wears a crown of bullets in the ceremony in the rural Pocono Mountains
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image captionGuns were blessed with holy water during the event, scheduled before 17 people were shot dead in a Florida school
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image captionThe church believes the Florida shooting could have been avoided had teachers been armed
image copyrightEPA
image captionGuns were inspected to make sure they didn't hold bullets, with zip ties added to stop them firing
image copyrightEPA
image captionStudents from a school near the church were moved for the day while the event took place, and protests were held outside
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image captionThe Rev Yeon Ah Lee-moon with her golden gun - the church is a small group that splintered away from the Unification Church founded by her father-in-law, the late self-proclaimed messiah Rev Sun Myung-moon
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image captionThe church, whose members are derisively called Moonies, has been accused of brainwashing its followers, a claim it denies