Religious leaders fear upcoming 'Blood Moon' could signal end of world

New Zealand will witness a 'Blood Moon' in July. It will be the longest lunar eclipse this century - but there are fears it could signal the end to the world.

The eclipse is expected to happen in the early hours of July 28, and takes place when the Sun, Earth and Moon are directly aligned, and the moon's orbit brings it into Earth's shadow.

The eclipse get its nickname 'Blood Moon' because the moon will pass directly into the darkest region of the Earth's shadow, called the umbra, which will give the moon a reddish tinge.

However religious leaders are warning the lunar eclipse is a sign the apocalypse is on its way.

They're basing this on a quote from the Book of Joel, which reads: "The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes."

Another passage in the Book of Revelations reads: "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood."

Endtime Ministries' Irvin Baxter is one of those forecasting the end of days.

"The Bible teaches that end event is coming just ahead of us now and that will be the greatest prophetic fulfilment in the last 2,000 years," he has said, according to The Mirror.

And YouTube pastor Paul Begley warns the Blood Moon is another hint doomsday is close.

"It is a sign of the end times. We are in the era of the apocalypse and this blood moon, which will be the longest blood moon of this century, is happening in the 70th year of Israel being a nation," he says, according to The Express.

"It is happening the same year also that Jerusalem has been declared the eternal city of God and it is happening with the volcanos already erupting in Hawaii and the smoke, the ash, all of the plumes and the volcanic rivers flowing."