'Appointment with death' cards shocking for elderly

By Joanne Carroll

Religious extremists have been sending cards to elderly people asking them to pick the date they are going to die.

The cards ask recipients to predict the date and time of their death and advise them to get in touch with evangelists to avoid going to hell.

Waiheke resident Marianne Taylor, 89, was shocked to receive an "appointment card" in the post last week.

The card, published by livingwatersnewzealand.com, was addressed to her by name and asked her to fill in the date and time of her death.

"Please don't forget to call me on the date you're going to die, then we can discuss your eternity," it says. However, the cards do not have a contact name or phone number printed on them.

Taylor said: "Initially I was a bit taken aback. I wondered if I was the only person to be targeted, by whom and why - and then I got angry. It is shocking," she said. She had contacted police about the cards.

Another resident, Jan Smith, said she was horrified to receive the personally addressed card.

"It's disgusting. It was quite spooky. I just couldn't comprehend why anyone would ask you to predict the date of your death."

California-based Living Waters was founded by New Zealand evangelist Ray Comfort. Spokeswoman Lisa Law said the cards were a way of making people aware of their mortality and to tell people about Jesus.

"People take for granted what they have on earth. People think they are going to live for ever. I think we all have to be aware of what our future holds - whether you are young or old everyone needs to know and needs to share the gospel," she said. However, she did not know who had sent the cards because any individual could order them from the website.

Another religious organisation of the same name but not connected to Comfort, Living Waters New Zealand, said it had not sent the cards.

National manager Ken Meehan said about a dozen upset people had called him.

- Herald on Sunday

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