Police in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state has arrested a doomsday prophet who caused widespread panic over claims his village would be wiped out.

It was gathered that the prophet had told his followers in the village of Ergoye that he had recently returned from heaven with a gloomy message.

“I have just returned from paradise with a message from God. The people in my area will be wiped out on Monday,” he said.

“When I entered paradise I met a woman who said she is the Virgin Mary, I also met god…” he claimed.

The prediction prompted residents to shut schools and businesses for several days

Ethiopia is a deeply religious society, with surveys showing the vast majority of Ethiopians believe in a supernatural deity. In recent years, theproliferation of quasi-evangelical movements and charismatic preachers hassometimes spawned “cult leaders”.

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