Doomsday prediction by ministry doesn't happen

AP News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2011 1:46 PM
Doomsday prediction by ministry doesn't happen

A California ministry that warned the end of the world would come Friday awoke to discover that Earth was undergoing its usual gyrations with no signs of a cataclysmic event.

Oakland-based Family Radio International stirred a global frenzy when it predicted the rapture would take 200 million Christians to heaven on May 21. Its most recent pronouncement said natural disasters would destroy the globe on Friday.

Though two moderate quakes did jolt the San Francisco Bay area on Thursday and floods still threaten to swamp Bangkok, the planet remained intact.

The ministry and its 90-year-old leader, Harold Camping, are avoiding the media this time around and perhaps a repeat of the international mockery that followed the previous prediction.

Calls to the ministry went to voicemail and were unreturned.

Camping, who suffered a mild stroke three weeks after his prediction failed to materialize in May, still spreads the word through his Family Radio International website.

Followers were crestfallen in May when the rapture did not occur, particularly those who had quit their jobs or donated some of their retirement savings or college funds for the more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message.