One pastor and author is warning the world of the significance of the solar eclipse on Friday, claiming that it could be a sign of the end of the world.
Pastor Mark Blitz said that the timing and locations from which the eclipse will be visible have significant meaning.
Blitz cited a Jewish tradition in which eclipses are considered God's warning to the Gentiles as well as signs of "judgment on the nations."
"When we look at where the darkness will be, it will be in northern European countries like England and Sweden where we see the rise of Islam and anti-Israel sentiment," Blitz said in an article at WorldNetDaily (WD).
The pastor also sees the timing of the solar eclipse as significant, because it occurs just two weeks before the third Blood Moon is set to occur on April 4, the Jewish Feast of Passover.
The Blood Moon is a lunar eclipse that is named as such because of the red colour that the Moon assumes. April 4's lunar eclipse is the third of four such eclipses called a lunar tetrad. According to Blitz's theory, they are a sign of the Second Coming of Christ or the very least a signal of something significant coming to Israel soon. His theory is heavily promoted by Pastor John Hagee of the Texas-based Cornerstone Church.
The earlier two Blood Moons occurred on April 15 and October 8, which also coincided with the Feasts of the Passover and the Tabernacles respectively.
The fourth Blood Moon in the tetrad will appear on September 13, on this year's Feast of the Temples.
Blitz told WD that the last tetrad occurred in 1967 before Israel captured Jerusalem from the Palestinians.The pastor interpreted this as a sign that important events were being set into motion.
Blitz is not the first pastor to claim to have predicted the end of times. The late Harold Camping of the Family Radio Network claimed that the world would end on May 21, 2011. His followers famously sold off all their possessions to prepare for the expected rapture. When May 21 passed without incident, Camping claimed to have made a mistake and said the date was instead October 21, 2011. However, this date also passed without incident, after which Camping said he would make no more predictions.