As I argue in my book, The Man of Sin (Click here: Amazon.com: Man of Sin, The: Uncovering the Truth about the Antichrist: Kim Riddlebarger: Books), the theological significance of the mark of the beast is every bit as important (perhaps more so) than trying to identify candidates to serve as the final Antichrist. Here's a concrete case of the kind of thing I am getting at--the state permitting people to erase any record of their baptism from official church records. Openly renouncing Christ and seeking to erase any trace of ties to him, his church, and his promises, is the very thing John is warning us about in Revelation 13:11-18 and 16:13.
There are two relevant news stories in this regard. Click here: Following atheist trend, Britons seek 'de-baptism', and Click here: Atheist wins right to have baptism removed as he did not consent as a baby - Telegraph
The Protestant Church In the Netherlands refuses to discipline a pastor who no longer believes in God! Like I say, you can't make this stuff up. Click here: Church authorities not to discipline Dutch 'atheist' pastor