Brexit is the latest example of political events inciting apocalyptic predictions

Posted June 26

Great Britain's exit from the European Union will have far-reaching financial and political implications. But some observers are more concerned with its potential apocalyptic consequences.

"Among some devoutly evangelical Protestants, the referendum has been viewed as a playing out of religious prophecy," The Economist reported.

These Christians in Northern Ireland argued in favor of Brexit in terms of biblical apocalypticism, or the belief that certain political events were foretold in the Bible.

"In a small market town in the west of Northern Ireland, an evangelical group took over a premises on the main street and covered the front in posters urging people to vote 'leave' or risk their souls by opting for a political institution which plainly stood for the Antichrist, an imposter whose appearance is a harbinger of the final battle before all earthly things come to end," The Economist reported.

Some Americans noted that the weakening of the European Union should sound familiar to readers of the "Left Behind" series, a collection of books that captivated the imaginations of religious and secular audiences alike in the late 1990s.

The Babylon Bee, a satirical website focused on issues affecting the Christian community, played with Brexit's apocalyptic themes in one of its Friday headlines: "Dispensationalists frantically adjust end-times charts to include Brexit vote."

Apocalypticism is also playing a role in this year's U.S. presidential election, as The Washington Post reported earlier this month. Some voters argue that widespread dissatisfaction with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominees for the Democratic and Republican parties, is a sign that America is being punished by God.

"There's a kind of person for whom every year seems like an end-times novel. This year has even sober-minded people feeling like they are in an end-times novel," said Russell Moore, an evangelical leader and president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, to The Washington Post.

Email: Twitter: @kelsey_dallas


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