A CONTROVERSIAL Australian preacher who followers claim is "anointed by God" is to host a week-long training camp in Wales next month.
John Mackay - celebrated by his followers but described as "dangerous" by others - has selected a Mid Wales site to host a conference for those who follow his disputed beliefs.
Bearded Mr Mackay teaches that science and evolution are lies created by the Devil and the Earth is only 6,000 years old. He tells followers anyone who disagrees cannot call themselves a Christian.
But he faces potentially fierce protests from groups accusing the Australian of trying to "brainwash" children and even "intellectual child abuse".
His Creation Research group, which even teaches that earthquakes are "the result of the earth's groaning for the return of Christ", will even spend four days in one English school teaching their beliefs to classes of children.
His tour of Britain began on Friday, the day when top British scientist Dr Richard Pike argued children should be taught that Darwin's theory of evolution is fact in a rebuttal to creationism. Mr Mackay arrives in Wales on Saturday and will give talks in Bangor, Haverfordwest, Tredegar and Ebbw Vale, along with the week-long camp being held at Cefn Lea Christian Holiday Park, Newtown, during the first week of May.
Peter Hearty of the National Secular Society, who has been closely monitoring Christian Research, described Mr Mackay and his followers as "extremists".
He said: "I fear he can do a lot of damage to children's faith in science. His views are extreme.
"They take a literal view of the Bible and a strong line on sex outside marriage, homosexuality and moral issues. They're not the kind of people you'd want running the country.
"You only have to spend five minutes looking at their website to get a pretty good idea of what they believe."
Most churches shun Creation Research's teachings.
One Church in Wales insider told Wales on Sunday: "I don't think there would be anyone who would agree with their rather extreme view."
But Mr Mackay's representative in Britain, Randall Hardy, shrugged off any attacks.
"John just has a gift from God and has to get on with it," he said. "OK, he hasn't got letters after his name, but he's got a message he's been burdened with he has to get out there. He's been anointed by God.
"We've been disdained, we've been called idiots, but when the scientists question John they're left very frustrated.
"The people who make a hue and cry about creationism are out-and-out atheists. They don't want the issue to be debated."
The Creation, Flood and Babel conference in Newtown will see Mr Mackay give lectures to adults while children aged five to 13 will have daily activity sessions.
Most controversially, Mr Mackay will be given four days at one school in Lancashire to teach classes his views on the beginning of the world. The name of the school is being kept secret to avoid protests.
David Norbury, general secretary of the Evangelical Movement of Wales, said Mr Mackay and his movement were almost completely unknown of among his members.
"We've very little contact with the guy," he said. "What I could say is that some aspects of his creationist position are held by some churches in Wales and a growing number of academics. But he's not someone we know about."