there isn't exactly a defined movement behind it that I know of, but I read an article on The Atlantic 4-5 days ago about how the Year of the Snake (Chinese Zodiac) has historically been a horrible year for Russia.
Doomsday Cults aren't savvy enough to pull pertinent, scientific facts together to support Moon Jesus & The 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse returning to burn us all in a cleansing fire. They just claim God spoke to them in a dream and point at some version of the Old Testament until your pockets are empty.
Yeah, my guess it would be no less frightening than volcanoes, earthqaukes, tornadoes and the like to a pre-modern person. We're the ones scared shitless of asteroid impacts because we are advanced enough to know that they can legitimately wipe us off the face of the Earth.