Lifestyle & Belief

Russia attempts to quell end-of-the-world panic


10. The Rapture (May 21, 2011): Activists who believed that 'Judgement Day' would occur on May 21, 2011, spread their word near Manhattan City hall in New York on May 12, 2011. Minister and evangelical broadcaster based in California Harold Camping, 89, predicted the end of the world, pointing to mathematical clues in the Bible as the source of his prediction and had his many followers and some 2,000 billboards announcing the event. On May 21, according to Camping, all true Christians should have been taken to heaven while those left behind suffered through cataclysms until the end of the universe, predicted to be October 21, 2011.


Emmanuel Dunand

Russians are getting increasingly panicked about the end of the world, which according to some erroneous interpretations of the Mayan calendar is fast-approaching on December 21, 2012. 

As the Apocalypse supposedly approaches, the New York Times has reported a number of strange, fear-fueled phenomena across Russia, a population which has a "penchant for mystical thinking." 

From prisoners experiencing "collective mass psychosis" to citizens stocking up on essential supplies or building an imposing Mayan-style archway, Russia has caught a case of end-of-the-world fever. 

But the government has put its foot down: Vladimir Puchkov, the country's minister of emergency situations, said Friday that he had access to “methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth,” and that was able to guarantee the world was not ending in December, according to The New York Times.

More from GlobalPost: Series: Apocalypse Soon

He did admit that Russia was still vulnerable to “blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply.”

Ah, right. The usual panic-inducers. 

Marie McDaniel, an assistant history professor at Southern Connecticut State University who teaches courses about the Apocalypse, also argued that we're going to be sticking around for a while longer, according to the New Haven Register

"These ideas come up all the time," McDaniel told the newspaper. "Throughout American history, we go back to this again and again."

"If we can take away the end-time narrative, then many of these threats are actually solvable," she continued. "We need to get to work on the real threats that beset earth: climate change, overpopulation, world hunger, the spreading of disease. That's harder than deciding that we will be saved if we have faith that God will protect us."