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Falwell Regrets Antichrist Remark

February 3, 1999 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ The Rev. Jerry Falwell says he regrets saying the Antichrist is a Jewish man who probably is alive today.

``I should have known better,″ Falwell said Tuesday at the 18th International Christian Prayer Breakfast, held in conjunction with the National Religious Broadcasters Convention.

The breakfast was billed as a prayer for peace in Jerusalem and honored several Holocaust survivors.

``I apologize to my Jewish friends here and around the world and I apologize to the Christians here for having created any kind of rift,″ Falwell said.

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``I apologize not for what I believe, but for my lack of tact and judgment in making a statement that served no purpose whatsoever,″ Falwell said.

According to the Bible, the Antichrist will spread universal evil before the end of the world but will be finally conquered at the second coming of Christ.

On Jan. 14, Falwell told a conference on evangelism that he believes the Second Coming probably will occur within 10 years.

As for the Antichrist, ``if he’s going to be the counterfeit of Christ, he has to be Jewish,″ Falwell said. ``The only thing we know is he must be male and Jewish.″

Falwell is the chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and founder of the now-defunct Moral Majority.