The novel coronavirus has infected more than 82,000 people and killed at least 2,801. But the viral epidemic could yet spiral out of control if outrageous claims about the end of the world are to be believed.
Since the coronavirus emerged in December last year, scores of militant Christians have warned about its prophetic implications.
Many have suggested the coronavirus is a sign of the imminent Apocalypse, as predicted in the prophetic Book of Revelation.
In an article for The Trumpet, evangelist Gerald Flurry said a biblical epidemic will descend on mankind in the end times.
The epidemic, disguised as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, will wipe out a quarter of the planet’s population.
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The evangelist cited passages from Revelation 6, which are attributed to John the Apostle.
He said: “These horsemen symbolise the end-time culmination of the most devastating woes endured by mankind because of his rebellion against his Creator.
“In his description of the fourth horse and its rider, John writes: ‘I looked and there was a pale green horse! It’s raider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him’
“This symbolises catastrophic disease epidemics.
“The passage states that along with the other three riders – which represent religious deception, war and famine – the anaemic horseman that represents disease will end up killing ‘the fourth part of the Earth’.
“With today’s population of some 7.8 billion, that death toll would come to nearly 2 billion people.”
That death toll would come to nearly 2 billion people
Gerald Flurry, The Trumpet
However, the Bible expert pointed out there are other passages in scripture that also predict devastating epidemics in the future.
Mr Flurry cited Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8 and Luke 21:11, which warn of pestilence breaking out before the Second Coming of Christ.
The biblical conspiracies have also been widely shared on social media with many people tweeting warnings about the coronavirus.
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Robert Weiter tweeted: “Coronavirus, locusts, species dying off in massive numbers, authoritarian leaders with bombs?
“Climate change denied. Wars and rumours of wars. The ability to totally destroy our world. Book of Revelation, anyone?”
Another Twitter user said: “Even in today’s age we can see what’s going on from the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Bible prophecy continues to come true.
“Look at what’s going on in the world today. Earthquakes everywhere, record flooding, the Corona virus and four other viruses, locust plagues in Africa…”
Another person also said: “Wasn’t #coronavirus or #covid19 predicted by the Bible? More precisely the New Testament, the Book of Revelation… I guess the end is truly closer than we thought!”
There is, however, not evidence to suggest the coronavirus outbreak is biblical in nature and coronavirus epidemics have occurred in the past.
Between 2002 and 2003, a strain of the coronavirus infected about 8,000 people with severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS.a
Then in 2012, a different strain of coronavirus targeted people with Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said: “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.”
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