World War III and the prophecy of Archbishop Theophanes of Poltava

Orthodox prophecies include many references to a great war yet to come, in which most of humankind is expected to perish — perhaps half the world’s population in a single day.

According to Orthodox prophetic teaching, this war will not bring about the end of humankind, despite the magnitude of destruction.

Instead, the war will precede a brief era of spiritual renewal and material prosperity, to be followed by worldwide apostasy and the subsequent reign of the antichrist.

Because there is so much information to cover, posts here will deal in installments with prophecies concerning this third world war.

Please understand that this review of Orthodox prophecies concerning the war is meant not to alarm, but instead to introduce readers to a large, unique, and detailed body of prophecy on this topic, different in many ways from popular ‘end times’ scenarios promoted in the mass media.

By way of introduction, today’s example is the prophecy of  Archbishop Theophanes of Poltava (1874?-1943), who said this ‘terrible war … will begin in the East and will end in the West … More than half of mankind will perish … All the great cities will be annihilated.’ Sufferings during this war, Archbishop Theophanes adds, will be ‘indescribable.’

Note that Archbishop Theophanes made this prophecy before the age of nuclear warfare, at  a time when it was as yet impossible for conventional warfare to accomplish destruction on the  scale that he describes.

As posts to come will show, the prophecy of Archbishop Theophanes is consistent with others from Orthodox Saints including Cosmas of Aitolia, John of Kronstadt, and Andrew of Caesarea.

An extensive biography of Archbishop Theophanes is available at

For a discussion of Archbishop Theophanes in the context of Orthodox Patristic tradition, see

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