Mayan doomsday 2012
According to the ancient Mayan civilisation, December 21, 2012, represents the end of a cycle in the Mayan long count calendar that begins in the year 3114 BC. It is the completion of 5,200 years counted in 13 baak t’uunes, a unit of time. One baak t’uune is equivalent to 144,000 days, or roughly 400 years. Doomsday believers expect a cataclysmic event to occur that day and end the world.
Doomsday unavoidable, say religious leaders
Worried about the end of the world? Your time is always nigh, say Hong Kong's spiritual leaders
As some Hongkongers await the end of the world today, religious leaders have warned everyone expecting life to carry on as usual that their own doomsday is coming sooner or later.
"Everyone has their own personal doomsday, which is the day you die," said Imam Sulaiman Wang at Wan Chai's Masjid Ammar & Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre. "If you die tomorrow, then tomorrow is your doomsday.
"We are used to lying to ourselves - that I'm in my 20s or 30s and there is lots of time - but you really don't know. The Angel of Death can come at any time."
The latest doomsday prophecy says the world will end today because an ancient Mayan calendar only runs until this date.
Wang said the doomsday cited in both Christianity and Islam has no fixed date. He said the first indication that it has arrived would be the return to earth of Jesus Christ - whom Christians consider the son of God and Muslims consider a prophet.
"Only God knows when doomsday is coming, neither angels nor mankind know," said Wang. "What we have to do instead is make sure that we have fulfilled our purpose so that we are in the best state to meet God."
A religious cult known as the Lightning of the East believes Christ has already returned to earth, in the form of a woman from Henan province, called Lightning Deng. The sect, founded in 1989, has been branded "evil" by Beijing.
Pastor Simon Chan of a Yuen Long church said he has been warning churchgoers to be careful of cult members trying to infiltrate the Christian community.
Laszlo Kincs, the founder and senior pastor of Hong Kong ministry Authentic Worship, said there is no point in waiting for an apocalypse because doomsday was already taking place all around us. "How many people died in Auschwitz? How many people died under Stalin?" he asked, referring to the Nazi concentration camp and the tyrannical Russian dictator. "That's doomsday for a lot of people. We are facing doomsdays both privately and on a large scale."
There are also predictions that the end of the world will be engendered by mankind's environmental destruction. Michael Bond, professor of psychology at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told the Post: "Personally, I believe that we humans face doomsdays of our own creation that will arrive, sooner or later, unless we take prompt, unified action to protect our planet. These scenarios, not Mayan predictions, worry me."