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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has infected more than 72.38 million people since it first appeared in China last year. The virus has also killed at least 1.61 million people as of December 14. The disease’s rapid outbreak has triggered fears of the Apocalypse, as described in the Christian Bible.
Conspiracy theorists and some Christian evangelists have alleged links between the coronavirus and prophecies in the Bible’s Book of Revelation.
The Book of Revelation by the Apostle John outlines the end of the world and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
In the final chapters of the Bible, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will arrive to destroy vast swathes of the planet.
According to Jeremiah Jaques from the Philadelphia Church of God website, the Book of Revelation is about “things which shall be hereafter”.
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He said: “In Revelation 6, John was inspired to write about the ‘seven seals’ that lead up to the return of Jesus Christ.
“The first four are often called the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’.
“They represent religious deception, war, famine and disease – verses 1 to 8.”
John the Apostle describes the Fourth Horseman as “Death” who is being followed by “Hades” or “Hell”.
In some interpretations and translations of the Bible, the Fourth Horseman is called “Pestilence” or “Plague”.
This is a personification of disease epidemics – sickly, haunting and unyielding
Jeremiah Jaques, Philadelphia Church of God
Mr Jaques said: “This is a personification of disease epidemics – sickly, haunting and unyielding.
“The passage says that along with the other three riders, the anaemic-looking horseman that represents disease will slay ‘the fourth part of the earth’.
“With today’s population of 7.7 billion, that figure would come to almost 2 billion.”
The full passage in question, Revelation 6:8 reads: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his named that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.
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“And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
The outrageous coronavirus theory was picked up by scores of conspiracy theories online.
One person said on Twitter: “Even in today’s age we can see what’s going on from the Book of Revelation in the Bible.
“Bible prophesy continues to come true. Look at what’s going on in the world today.
“Earthquakes everywhere, record floodings, the Corona virus and four other viruses, locust plagues in Africa…”
There is, however, nothing to suggest the coronavirus is biblical in nature and not simply a manageable epidemic.
Different strains of the coronavirus family have been responsible in the past for deadly epidemics that have all been contained.
Between 2002 and 2003, for instance, a coronavirus strain infected thousands of people with SARS or severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Then in 2012, another coronavirus strain was responsible for the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS.
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