Will it really happen on May 21? God's Judgment Day is virtually upon the world, according to Harold Camping, head of the Family Radio Christian ministry in Oakland, California.
He is calling on the world to repent before God and beg for mercy in order to be spared ahead of May 21, 2011, when he says God will judge the world with a cataclysmic series of earthquakes that will strike the planet time zone by time zone as each location reaches 6 p.m. local time. Among the more populated places that would hit the dealine first, according to the prediction, is New Zealand.
Camping says the only people who will be spared are the true believers who will be raptured from earth to heaven ahead of the day.
The majority of mainstream Christian theologians have dismissed Camping's views, saying that the bible itself notes that no one knows the day of Jesus Christ's return to the world. Camping says he has meticulously calculated - using a variety of biblical references - the May 21 date using the bible, although he incorrectly predicted Judgment Day would come in 1994. Others have simply dismissed any talk of a Judgment Day.
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Camping said there will be rolling earthquakes across the world at 6 p.m. local time at each locale. Since the sun rises from the East to the West, New Zealand will be hit by the earthquake first. The beginning of judgment day, then, is 6 p.m. local time in Wellington, New Zealand.
Iranian protesters hold a rally on the Shi'ite mourning day of Ashura in central Tehran December 27, 2009. REUTERS