The three most influential religions in that region, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are in conflict regarding their beliefs about the End Times (as they see it).
Ironically, the TV show DIG (starting this week on USA) explores this subject, pointing out some real crazy stuff from all 3 that is actually going on, peppered with their fictional take on the subject. The scary part is that the line between reality and fiction with Dominionists is very blurred and as a result, dangerous to humanity.
Sure, this may seem a bit out there, but let's face it, when you think about it, just a few hundred years ago, people were burned alive for embracing the plurality of worlds concept, for believing that the Earth was not the center of the universe, for believing that the earth was not flat, etc.
We're a crazy bunch of monkeys who think we're smart.