Famous People Accused of Being the Antichrist

People accused of being the Antichrist range from modern presidents to rulers of the Middle Ages. The list of possible Antichrists is as long as the time you've got to research it. But Christian scholars can't agree on the very nature of the Antichrist, whether he is one person, or a group of people, or what exactly he'll do when he comes.

The two Epistles of John, which are separate parts of the New Testament from the Gospel of John, mention an Antichrist or Antichrists five separate times. There are also references to false prophets in several books, as well as The Beast from the Earth mentioned in Revelation. With over a thousand years of scholarship, it's not surprising that possible Antichrists include every Pope since the 11th century, almost every president of the United States, head of a world governmental organization, monarch, or really rich person.

While countless people have been accused of being the Antichrist over the past thousand years, only a few truly standout as worthy candidates. Here are the most likely past and present possible False Prophets.

  • Just About Any Pope

    Just About Any Pope
    Photo: Casa Rosada / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church began to split between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic branches. As the Eastern Orthodox moved away from traditional Catholicism, it became common for whatever Pope was holding the office to be thought of as the Antichrist, devoted to "repairing" the Great Schism by destroying the Orthodox branch.

    During the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther identified the papacy as the Antichrist, a human figure who had anointed himself as God. Subsequently, a wave of anti-Catholic propaganda swept Europe, and was still part of the Protestant religion well into the 1900s.
  • Barack Obama
    Photo: Pete Souza / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    If any US president is going to be the Antichrist, it's going to be Barack Obama, right? He's charismatic, seemingly came from nowhere, is thought by some to be lying about his birthplace and origins, and seems to advance policies that deny God - or elevate himself to the status of God.

    As the Christian website Charisma News puts it, Obama has all the hallmarks of being the False Prophet. He's "a pro-abortion activist and a pro-gay president who ushered same-sex marriage into the mainstream in his term. He inked a nuclear deal with Iran that sets the stage for Israel's destruction. And, generally speaking, his policies have certainly given boldness to the Antichrist agenda. His refusal to call terrorism Islamic has also ruffled feathers."

    There you go. A feather-ruffling, nuclear-deal-inking, same-sex-marriage-ushering evil one from the bowels of hell.

  • Adolf Hitler
    Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S33882 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

    If you're looking for people who are the opposite of Christ, Adolf Hitler is probably your guy. He was an evil manipulator who was able to get people to do his bidding, just like a False Prophet would. Beyond that, the Nazis had a high level of interest in the occult, attempting to tap dark energy for their evil purposes. There are also theories that Hitler's ability to sway others came straight from Satan in the form of demonic possession.

    The contemporary theosophist Alice A. Bailey stated during World War II that Hitler was possessed by what she called “Dark Forces.” Her follower, the noted occult author Benjamin Crème, has stated that Hitler and a cadre of evil men in Nazi Germany, Japan, and Italy released the energies of the Antichrist,  which was not an individual person, but the primordial forces of destruction.

    So whether Hitler was the Antichrist himself or merely a facilitator for the Beast, he's a perfect candidate to have been the False Prophet.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte
    Photo: Antoine-Jean Gros / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    Napoleon's brutal invasion of Russia unleashed a tidal wave of hatred against France, with many Europeans believing that the French marshal was nothing short of the Antichrist. Both religious scholars of the day and simple peasant folks believed he was a destroyer sent from hell, leading a "legion of devils" into battle against the light . Priests and clerics sermonized Napoleon as a demon who would overthrow all religions in favor of the worship of himself - a sure hallmark of the False Prophet.

    An alternate theory put forth by some end-of-the-world writers is that Napoleon was the first of three Antichrists predicted by Nostradamus, with Hitler the second, and someone yet to be revealed as the third.