You made it through doomsday rapture

2011-05-21 17:32

While some in the world waited to be raptured away to heaven, Pope Benedict XVI yesterday became the first pontiff to make actual contact with the heavens.

From his desk in the Vatican, the 84-year-old pontiff spoke via video link to Italian astronauts aboard the shuttle Endeavour.

While he was bridging the gap between religion and science, another group of believers was anxiously waiting to be whisked away from earth.

Yesterday, May 21 – also called the “day of rapture” by the president of American Family Radio, Harold Camping, and his followers, who predicted the end of the world – was pretty much business as usual worldwide.

Family Radio, a $122 million (about R840 million) company, relayed Camping’s prediction of the “end of days” in 70 languages.

Camping “wrongly predicted” that the world would end on September 6, 1994.

But, allegedly after studying the Bible again, he realised that the day should be May 21 2011.

The day of rapture was supposed to be followed by the official end of the world on October 21.

In South Africa, people have been preparing for months and yesterday met across the country to await their fate.

In Joburg, people gathered at the Devonshire Hotel in Braamfontein, while in Stellenbosch a “last breakfast” was held.

Heading the South African leg, Johannes Coetzee declined all media requests to be interviewed today, a day after the supposed rapture, because he “will be in heaven”.

Coetzee became a believer in rapture day when he listened to Family Radio.

His group distributed more than three million pamphlets and advertised on 20 billboards across South Africa.


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