Members of a loosely organized Christian group have announced that they believe May 21, 2011, will be rapture day. Pastor Harold Camping announced this on his Family Radio Worldwide radio show. This is the second time Camping has announced an upcoming date of rapture.
May 21, 2011, deemed Judgment Day
In a publication and broadcast released by Family Radio Worldwide, May 21, 2011, was named as the date of the rapture. He claims he reached the conclusion that May 21 is the date by “closely reading” scripture. This date has been announced in conjunction with an October, 2011, date of the “end of the world.” The May 21, 2011, judgment day date has been picked up by several Christian organizations, websites and media outlets.
What is Judgment Day?
So when May 21, 2011 comes, what exactly is the day of rapture? According to many Christian groups, rapture is the day that a higher power hands down judgment and good Christians are “gathered together in the air” to meet Jesus. This is a date that they believe precedes the end of the world. Some believe that the May 21, 2011, date for rapture means that the chosen Christians will be physically taken off the Earth. Others believe that the rapture date is more figurative, though the Christian group announcing the May 21 date believes it is literal.
Previous date for Judgment Day
This is not the first time that Harold Camping and other Christian leaders have named a Judgment Day. Originally, Camping named a day in 1994 as the date of Judgment Day. In previous years, religious leaders have announced the date they believe will be the official Judgment Day. Edgar C. Wisenant named 1988, then 1989 as dates for rapture. The Korean group “Mission for the Coming Days” named 1992 as the year for the rapture. Multiple groups named 1993 as a possible date of rapture, because it was seven years before 2000, which they believed would be the end of the world. Not all rapture dates are in the past, however. Sir Issac Newton estimated the date of the rapture would be sometime in 2060. The rapture has provided fodder for books, movies and even the most recent expansion of the World of Warcraft series.