Rapture preacher suffers stroke

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California radio preacher who predicted the world would end last month was recuperating Monday after suffering a mild stroke, his family and colleagues said.

Doctors have been monitoring the progress of 89-year-old radio host Harold Camping since he was taken by ambulance from his Alameda home on Thursday.

“He is presently recuperating in a local hospital and the doctors are pleased with his progress,” Family Radio’s special projects coordinator Michael Garcia said. “Mr. Camping’s family appreciates your thoughts and prayers.”

Camping’s daughter, Susan Espinoza, said her father was recovering but had not been doing his regular live broadcasts from the threadbare headquarters of Family Radio International, near the Oakland airport.

“He’s doing quite well,” said Espinoza, who works at her father’s network. “We haven’t made a decision on what will happen with the radio broadcasts but for now they are playing recorded programs.”

Camping’s media empire spent millions of dollars— some of it from donations made by followers — publicizing the evangelist’s Rapture prediction over the past seven years.

When the apocalypse failed to occur on May 21, Camping was widely mocked and he called it “a very difficult time.”

He has since insisted that his prediction was overall correct. On May 24 he clarified that a “spiritual” Judgment Day had begun three days earlier, placing the entire world under Christ’s judgment, and said the Earth actually would be obliterated on Oct. 21.

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