Cyprus' Greek Orthodox Church speaks out against 666

Citizen I.D. cards carried the "number of the beast."

By J.A. Getzlaff
Published April 13, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

How would you like it if your passport number were 666? If you were a devout member of the Greek Orthodox Church living on the island of Cyprus, you might not find the combination so appealing.

666 is the "number of the beast" -- the number that the Bible's Book of Revelation attributes to Satan. According to a recent Reuters report, this reference to the antichrist was not appreciated by some residents of Cyprus, who were issued identity cards that bore the devilish number.

The Greek Orthodox Church spoke out against the use of 666, prompting the government to announce that it will no longer issue its citizens identity cards that bear the creepy code. In fact, it went so far as to promise that the I.D.s will now feature six instead of three digits.

This should take care of any and all numeric disputes until a devout churchgoer ends up with 696969.


J.A. Getzlaff

J.A. Getzlaff's Daily Planet appears every weekday. Do you have a tip or tale for J.A.? Send it to DailyPlanet@salon.com.

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