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Rapture skeptics

While a Christian movement spreads the word that Saturday is Judgement Day, non-believers are responding by planning post-Rapture parties.

A loosely organized Christian movement has spread the word around the globe that Jesus Christ will return to earth on Saturday to gather the faithful into heaven.

The prediction has inspired "Rapture parties" to celebrate what hosts expect will be the failure of the world to come to an end.

A Facebook page titled "Post rapture looting" offers this invitation: "When everyone is gone and God’s not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we’re going to squat in."

By late Wednesday, more than 175-thousand people indicated they’d be attending the "public event."

The Rapture prediction originates with Harold Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer from Oakland, California, who founded a ministry called Family Radio Worldwide.

While these skeptical responses to the prediction have popped up on social media, belief in the Rapture is more prevalent that many people may think.

A recent Pew Research Center study found that although many Americans may not believe the Rapture will come on Saturday, they do believe in the concept.

Forty-one per cent said that Jesus Christ will either definitely or probably return to Earth before 2050.

Among white Evangelical Christians, the number goes up to 58 per cent.

With files from The Associated Press

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