BY ANDREW M BROWN
SHORTLY AFTER God failed to appear on television at 12.01 am on Wednesday last week, the Taiwanese leader of a Christian sect in Garland, Texas admitted that his other prediction that God would materialise in a Texas suburb was "nonsense".
More than 150 disciples, who dress in white jogging suits and cowboy hats, had followed Heng-ming Chen, the leader of God's Salvadon Church, from Taiwan to the Dallas suburb.
Some 100 reporters gathered at Mr Chen's ranch-style house last Wednesday and 50 or so police officers sealed off the area to the public. Mr Chen, who claims to be the father of Christ, did not emerge.
One member of the Church, Chin-Hung Chiang, told The New York Times that he was not disappointed God had failed to appear on television.
"Everyone is calm," Mr Chiang said.
"The world oldie spiritual is invisible. It's very difficult to explain what is going on."
Chi-Chia Chen (no relation), an Assistant to the Director General of Taiwan's Economic and Cultural Office in Houston, said news of the failed prophecy had quickly reached Taiwan.
Of the religious leader, Mr Chen said people in Taiwan "may think he's like a joke", but "there were different opinions" among the followers.
Relatives °f ills disciples, the spokesman said, hoped they would now return to Taiwan.
Disciples said they expected to return to Taiwan when their tourist visas expire.