Magazine article The Christian Century

Prayer Asked for Bush vs. `Zero-Year Curse'

Magazine article The Christian Century

Prayer Asked for Bush vs. `Zero-Year Curse'

Article excerpt

An evangelical prayer organization is asking Christians to pray that President George W. Bush will not succumb to a 160-year-old "curse" linked to the deaths of seven chief executives before their terms ended.

The so-called "zero-year curse" has shown up every 20 years and "killed" seven presidents elected in years ending in zero--except for Ronald Reagan. Some believers say that when Reagan narrowly survived an attempted assassination in 1981 the curse was broken.

Still, the Leesburg, Virginia-based Intercessors for America, a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, is asking for prayers that the curse will not resurface and that Bush will survive his four-year term.

"Because Satan would desire to use these new speculations to undermine faith and promote fear and suspicion it is important that, as intercessors, we reaffirm the cancellation and `breaking' of death curses on the U.S. presidency," said Intercessors president Gary Bergel in the group's January 2001 newsletter.

According to Bergel, Native American legend says that Tenskwatawa, a Shawnee warrior and prophet, put the curse on General William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Tenskwatawa predicted that Harrison would one day become the "Great White Chief" but would die in office and that every Great White Chief chosen after him every 20 years would also die. …

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