Washington – An ageing Christian fundamentalist has predicted that the Rapture – phase one of the end of the world, when good Christians go up to heaven – will happen on Saturday, but is not the only one to pinpoint this month.
Harold Camping came up with his prediction using a calculation that started with the year of the Great Flood, 4990 BC, added 7 000 years because, in the Bible, God “reminds us that one day is as 1 000 years”, and then subtracted one because of a glitch when passing from the old to the new testament calendars.
“Because the year 2011 AD is exactly 7 000 years after 4990 BC when the flood began, the Bible has given us absolute proof that the year 2011 is the end of the world during the Day of Judgment,” the website of Family Radio, the worldwide evangelising network run by Camping, says.
“Amazingly, May 21 2011 is the 17th day of the second month of the Biblical calendar of our day. Remember, the flood waters also began on the 17th day of the 2nd month, in the year 4990 BC,” it says, adding that there are “several additional astounding proofs” that Saturday will be Judgment Day.
Those “astounding proofs” are available by contacting Family Radio.
Camping isn’t the only one who has predicted the apocalypse for May of this year.
Italians fled Rome for the suburbs and distant holiday destinations because a prediction made decades earlier by a self-taught seismologist said the Italian capital would be hit by a massive earthquake on May 11 2011.
Rome was not hit by an earthquake that day, but a quake did hit the Spanish city of Lorca, killing nine people.
And in Taiwan, self-styled prophet Wang Chao-hung predicted that a magnitude-14 earthquake would hit the island nation, also on May 11, and urged people to move into cargo containers that had been converted into makeshift shelters in the town of Puli.
Wang was questioned the next day by police who decided to pass the case to prosecutors to investigate a possible offence of spreading socially disruptive rumours.
A US Christian fundamentalist group – not Camping’s – meanwhile said in a quarter-page ad in a US newspaper last week that “the evidence for the soon (sic) return of Jesus Christ is overwhelming” and listed several reasons why the end could come “at any moment”.
These include “plummeting morality, famines, violence and wars; increase in earthquakes, an explosion of travel and education, cults and the occult”.
The ad did not specify a date.