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Hot Docs 2023: “Praying for Armageddon”


Rating: 4 out of 5.

When a stabbing occurs, we hear some people saying – knives don’t kill, but people do. Then, another mass shooting takes place – another one pleads – it’s not the gun that kills, it’s people that pull the trigger. Similarly, we know that religion does not kill either, it’s people. So where does the issue come from? Why weaponize something that could be used for better purposes? Yes, guns might work for self-defense, but how about religion?

Nothing made me angrier than watching “Praying for Armageddon.” Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, it follows the terrifying number of people who hope for the arrival of Armageddon – a war that can be unleashed on someone who does not accept Jesus Christ. The rise of Christian Nationalism across the globe, especially in the United States, spells nothing but danger to the peace on Earth. It affects geopolitical plans, poisons society, and infiltrates the White House, which can dictate the course of any country on Earth.

It shows the nature of religion and how it can destroy and kills many innocent people if led by a group of fanatics. We all remember how the United States, before Donald Trump, was reluctant to install the US Military Base in Israel and the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem. But once the Trump administration entered the White House, what was ideally impossible became insanely close to happening. That being said, “Praying for Armageddon” does not necessarily propagate against religion, but explains why it can be extremely dangerous if radical thoughts fall into the hand of individuals that hold power. Therefore, as long as there are such people, there will be no peace.

Because there is one particular scene shown in the documentary that tells everything – when people in the Church raise their hands in favor of falling bombs on the heads of those that go against their belief, and the same bombs do fall, killing many innocent people, including children. As you watch that, you realize – we are doomed. Not because the number of beliefs decreases. But because of the number of insane people that believe in the necessity of war against anybody that does not share their ideology. For that, sadly, we have no cure, which means there will be no end to wars of any kind as long as it’s led and spread via religion.

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