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Background

Created by an evangelical Christian named Todd Strandberg in the 1980s, the Rapture Index keeps track of current events to estimate how quickly the world is moving toward the “End Times” that many Christians believe are prophesied in the Bible. (According to the prophesy, during the Rapture, Christians will be lifted up to heaven to be with Jesus Christ; everyone else will suffer seven years of catastrophes in a world ruled by the Antichrist.)

How It Works

Current events are organized into 45 Rapture foretelling categories, including “False Christs,” “Satanism,” “Inflation,” “Liberalism,” and “Volcanoes.”

Each category is assigned a numerical value from 1 to 5, according to the amount of “activity” in that category. Then the values are added up to calculate the current Rapture Index score. A score of 100 or below is classified as “Slow Prophetic Activity,” meaning the Rapture probably isn’t near. A score of 100 to 130 indicates “Moderate Prophetic Activity,” and a score of 130 to 160 is a sign of “Heavy Prophetic Activity.”

A score above 160? “Fasten Your Seatbelts”— the Rapture may be imminent.

Details

The highest score the Rapture Index ever reached came on August 8, 2011—just after the Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency downgraded U.S. debt from AAA to AA+—when the Index hit 184 out of a possible 225. The all-time low: 57, reached in December 1993, when “just about every indicator either went dormant or had positive news,” Strandberg reports.

Highlights

“There has been an increase in the number of UFO sightings,” Strandberg reports in the “Supernatural” category (2 points). What about the Antichrist category? “The European Union now has a President. This office could be a precursor to the: Antichrist,” he writes (3 points).