TV evangelist an online personality Paul Begley has hailed the safe flyby of a tiny asteroid an event of biblical significance. The asteroid in question, dubbed 2018 VP1, will zip past the planet on November 2, 2020, the night before the US presidential election. And although the 6.5ft-wide asteroid has a negligible chance of hitting the planet – 0.41 percent – Pastor Begley has been stoking fears of Christian doomsday unfolding.
He said: “Asteroid coming our way the night before the presidential election. This is truly an apocalyptic election.”
Pastor Begley is a frequent purveyor of doomsday hoaxes and conspiracy theories, strenuously linking modern-day events to passages in the Bible.
The firebrand preacher from West Lafayette in Indiana, US, hosts The Coming Apocalypse on some US TV channels.
The show’s tagline is: “Welcome to The Coming Apocalypse. Evangelist and pastor Paul Begley will take you on a journey into the end times prophecy.”
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NASA said: “Small asteroids a few meters in size are detected passing between Earth and the Moon’s orbit several times a month.
“Meteoroids – very small fragments of asteroids and comets less than three feet (one meter) in size – hit Earth’s atmosphere and explode virtually every day, causing the bright meteor events that people see at night and sometimes leave remnants – meteorites – on the ground.”
From a biblical perspective, there is also no reason to believe prophecy will unfold on any specific date.
Jesus said in Matthew 24: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”