Predictions by influential Christian radio host Harold Camping, best known for his failed predictions of the second coming of Christ in 1994, have provoked a media storm globally with his prophecy that the Christian Rapture will take place on May 21, 2011.
By rapture, he means that the Biblical belief that Jesus Christ will arrive in a Second Coming to carry the believers up to heaven.
Across the internet, thousands of news articles flashed speculating and debating the idea while many followers tried to spread the news by pasting billboards and pamphlets.
Camping, 81, was a follower of the conservative, evangelical Christian Reformed Church like the rest of his family. However, in 1988, he parted ways with the church where grew up. Following his retirement, Camping continued to serve as the unpaid president of Family Radio which he helped to start with other individuals of Christian Reformed, Bible Baptist, and Conservative Christian Presbyterian in 1958.
The radio station broadcasts traditional Christian Gospel to the conservative Protestant community and minister to the general public.
Previously, Camping made a failed prediction that Jesus Christ would return to Earth in 1994. Like his last prediction, Camping's current date is based on his reading of the Bible and a timeline dating back to ancient events including the Biblical flood survived by Noah.
We know without any shadow of a doubt it is going to happen. I'll probably try to be very near a TV or a radio or something. I'll be interested in what's happening on the other side of the world as this begins, Reuters quoted Camping stating.
Atheists, across the world, are reacting to Camping's pronouncement in different ways. A party organized by atheists in Washington, has the theme countdown to backpedaling as they believe that Camping and Family Radio will change their story if Judgment Day does not come.