could take advantage of this sixth day of the sixth month of 2006 as the number 666 is seen as propitious for evil, organizers said.

"We want to demonstrate that God lives and is victorious," explained Mathijs Piet of the Dutch group Ambassadors Ministries in a statement. He also referred to the remake of the 1976 horrors classic film The Omen, which was launched on Tuesday, June 6, by film company 20th Century Fox. In the movie a man comes to realize his son is the "anti-Christ".

"666 is the number of the devil and we know that on this date, ‘satanists’ will try and do many things, so we Christians try and do the opposite," Piet said. "We know the devil hates it when we worship God."

At least an estimated 2,000 Dutch Christians participated in the prayer marathon, which was held across the Netherlands. They were joined by believers in 23 countries, including Israel, where the prayers officially began late Monday, June 5, with a rally in Jerusalem, organizers said.

The reference to 666 is taken from the Biblical Book of Revelation, which talks about the events leading to the Anti-Christ and the end of the current world.

Revelation 13:18 states: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six," according to the King James Version of the Bible. (With reports from the Netherlands).


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