How to Say 'Apocalypse' in Korean
Bay Area resident David Song, 50, recently found an email in his inbox proclaiming the world would end Saturday. Taken aback by the foreboding message, Song told the Korea Daily that what he found more curious was the fact that it was written in perfect Korean.
The campaign to warn people across the globe that doomsday is near has gone beyond English-language advertising. Sponsored by Harold Camping’s organization, Family Radio Worldwide, the ads have run in multiple languages on commuter trains and freeway billboards, proclaiming that on Saturday, those chosen by God will be taken up in his rapture, leaving the rest to suffer "in the eternal flames of judgment."
"The Bible," the ads declare, "guarantees it."
For Korean-Americans, who are predominantly Christian — and tend to be more linguistically isolated than some other groups — the Korean-language ads have not gone unnoticed. Some Korean pastors have raised concerns that the messages' appearance on the pages of trusted Korean newspapers gave the campaign a level of legitimacy that it did not merit.
The issue prompted a meeting of Korean pastors in the Seattle area to discuss how to prevent community members from being taken in by Camping's prophecy. "There is no exact date given in the Bible for the world's end," one pastor insisted in a recent sermon. Another described Camping as a false prophet, claiming his prediction was "entirely baseless," the Korea Daily reported.