“World ends on Saturday”

Time of article published May 15, 2011

Share this article:

This could be the last copy of The Sunday Independent you will ever read – at least according to Harold Camping, a US preacher who says the world is going to end on May 21, at 7pm to be precise.

Camping has been preaching his message of doom on radio stations across the US about the beginning of Judgement Day (he says on May 21) and the rapture, in which Christians will be “taken up into the air to meet Christ” (he says on October 21) after five months of terror on Earth.

However, local astrologer Dion van Zyl says there is nothing to fear.

“I have been following global events from 2007 very closely and the world is not ending on May 21.

“We have horrible days once a month – and this coming weekend falls into that pattern. The economic recession and disaster in Japan occurred during this horrible-day period which happens (monthly).”

Van Zyl said this was happening because Uranus was in opposition to Saturn and the box-shaped alignment of these and two other planets.

“People should be prepared for things to go wrong, especially on Friday, May 20.”

Neither are many Christian leaders persuaded by Camping’s predictions. Father Chris Townsend from the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference said: “Jesus clearly states that the hour is the Father’s business and not the business of prophets or preachers, but God’s alone.

“Millennial and other dire prophecies are often the result of deep societal stress manifest in fear and anxiety. Jesus’s first words to his disciples are ‘Peace be with you’. We have to take Jesus seriously. If we are doing the work of bringing God’s reign, working for community, justice and reconciliation – in a sense ‘doing the Kingdom’ – we have nothing to fear. Even if the world does end on May 21, 22 or 28 – who cares! The Kingdom is for living.”

Camping has programmes in 48 languages and has thousands of followers across the globe – including a radio station in South Africa.

He claims the world will end on May 21 because that will be 722 500 days from 1 April AD33, which he believes was the day of Jesus’s crucifixion. For Camping and his followers the figure of 722 500 is important because you get it by multiplying three holy numbers (five, 10 and 17) – twice.

But this is not the first time he has predicted the second coming.

He and his followers gathered at an auditorium in Alameda awaiting Christ’s return on September 6, 1994. He said since then they had done more research and believed their new date was accurate.

Throughout history people have expected the world to end.

In 1689 a Baptist, Benjamin Keach, predicted the end of the world, as did British theologian and mathematician William Whitson, in a great flood similar to Noah’s, on October 13, 1736. - Charmel Brown

Share this article: