The end is nigh! 39% believe we're 'living in the end times'

The end is nigh! Four-in-ten adults say we’re ‘living in the end times,’ including half of Christians, says survey amid alarm over pandemics, climate change, nuclear brinkmanship, and doomsday cults

  • 39 percent of US adults say the ‘end times’ are upon us 
  • But 58 percent are convinced the world is not coming to a calamitous end
  • Researchers linked doomsayers to climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear brinkmanship does not help
  • A fifth of US adults now subscribe to the doomsday-like QAnon cult 
  • Have your say: vote in’s very own doomsday poll

Nearly four-in-ten Americans say we’re ‘living in the end times,’ says a poll taken against a stark backdrop of climate change, the pandemic, nuclear brinkmanship and doomsday cults.

A Pew Research Center survey of more than 10,000 adults found that 39 percent called these the ‘end times’, while 58 percent were assured that humanity was not careening towards catastrophe.

Researchers linked the high number of doomsayers to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed 6.65 million lives globally, and fears about living on a warming planet with fiercer hurricanes and wildfires.

They could add Russian president Vladimir Putin’s talk of using nuclear weapons in his war against Ukraine, or how US democracy had a close shave when rioters stormed the Capitol on January 6 last year.

‘Periods of catastrophe and anxiety, such as the coronavirus pandemic, have historically led some people to anticipate that the destruction of the world as we know it — the ‘end times’ — is near,’ said Pew’s researchers.

Nearly half of Christians say the end is nigh, but there are big differences within the faith — 63 percent of evangelicals say doomsday is coming, but only 27 percent of Catholics


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Those fears relate to present-day realities as well as looking back to ‘sacred scripture’ and the expectation among Christians that ‘Jesus will return to Earth after or amid a time of great turmoil,’ they added.

While nearly half of Christians say Judgement Day is closing in, there are big differences within the faith — 63 percent of evangelicals call these the end times, but only 27 percent of Catholics agree.

There’s also a political tilt — 45 percent of Republicans see doomsday coming, against just 33 percent of Democrats. College graduates were more skeptical of the looming apocalypse than were those with only high school certificates.

Theories about the world coming to an end are older even than the prophecies of Michael Nostradamus, who in the 1500s foresaw of ‘king of terror’ descending upon the world in the seventh month of 1999.

A similarly wild — and ultimately apocryphal — theory went viral on TikTok in September, which predicted a planetary catastrophe on the 24th of that month, prompted by the sharing of a video of a German politician.

Those who clamor for the rapture, however, have plenty of other dates from which to choose.

Austrian American scientist Heinz von Foerster predicted that overpopulation would nix humanity in November 2026 — the same year the Messiah Foundation International says an asteroid will pummel Earth.

Debris left by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, last month. Researchers linked climate change and the greater frequency of extreme weather events with a belief in the end of times   

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly made reference to the use of nuclear weapons in a war in Ukraine that has backfired. Pictured: a Russian nuclear missile rolls along Red Square in Moscow in a 2020 parade

Patients on hospital beds in Hong Kong in February. The pandemic has claimed some 6.65 million lives globally since it erupted in China at the end of 2019 

Doomsday cults have gained a new lease of life thanks to the QAnon conspiracy theory — a wacky credo that a devil-worshiping pedophile elite secretly pulls the strings on US and global institutions.

Nearly a fifth of Americans now subscribe to QAnon tenets, which include religiously-fashioned beliefs about society-wide purges and a Great Awakening that will bring salvation.

Pew’s survey also explored views on the Christian credo that Jesus will eventually return to Earth, in what is often called the ‘second coming.’ More than half of US adults said Christ would return, including three quarters of Christians.


Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon shaman, famously joined a mob supporting former president Donald Trump at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

QAnon started on fringe website 4chan, where a poster calling themselves Q left messages claiming to be a senior federal official and purporting to reveal a ‘deep state’ cabal intent on bringing down then-president Donald Trump.

Q grew out of the discredited ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy that top Democrats were involved in pedophilia and cannibalism from the basement of a Washington DC restaurant, but quickly picked up steam with Q’ leaving ‘clues’ and claims that Trump was going to bring down the deep state.

A core tenet of the conspiracy theory is that a cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and ‘deep state’ allies ran institutions and a global child sex ring.

It has become a ‘big tent’ conspiracy theory encompassing misinformation about topics ranging from alien landings to vaccine safety. Whenever the conspiracies turn out to not be true, followers rationalize that the inaccuracies are part of Q’s larger plan.

Followers of QAnon say a so-called Great Awakening is coming to bring salvation.

The ‘Q’ posts, which started in 2017 on the message board 4chan, have also been posted on 8kun, a rebranded version of the shuttered web board 8chan.

Major social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have banned content associated with QAnon and have suspended or blocked accounts that seek to spread it. That’s forced much of the group’s activities onto platforms that have less moderation, including Telegram, Gab and Trump’s struggling platform, Truth Social.

A growing list of criminal episodes has been linked to people who had expressed support for the conspiracy theory, which US intelligence officials have warned could trigger more violence.

QAnon supporters were among those who violently stormed the Capitol during the failed January 6, 2021, insurrection, which attempted to derail the results of the 2020 election.

In November 2020, two men drove to a vote-counting site in Philadelphia in a Hummer adorned with QAnon stickers and loaded with a rifle, 100 rounds of ammunition and other weapons. Prosecutors alleged they were trying to interfere with the election.

Last year, a California man who told authorities he had been enlightened by QAnon was accused of killing his two children because he believed they had serpent DNA.

A Colorado woman was in August found guilty of attempting to kidnap her son from foster care after her daughter said she began associating with QAnon supporters. Other adherents have been accused of environmental vandalism, firing paintballs at military reservists, abducting a child in France and even killing a New York City mob boss.

Police last month fatally shot a Michigan man who they say had killed his wife and severely injured his daughter. A surviving daughter told The Detroit News that she believes her father was motivated by QAnon.


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