Fame and faith
Many celebrities carry their faith very close to their hearts. Some were inspired when they were working on films and others have found themselves within a faith as they journey through life. Regardless whatever the starting source of their religion may be, these celebrities have remained faithful to their faith and allow it to guide them on their journeys in life.
Hamza & Husain Abdullah
Hamza and Husain Abdullah have put a hold on their pro football careers to make a pilgrimage to Mecca during the 2012 NFL season, as part of their Islamic faith. Both Hamza and Husain are free agents. Husain had multiple offers for the upcoming season, including an offer to return to the Vikings. As part of their effort, they’ll have “Iftar,” which is the Ramadan fast-breaking meal, in a different U.S. mosque every night. They will talk about fasting and its impact on athletes. They also hope to break down the negative connotations of Islam.
The Abdullah brothers hope to return to the NFL during the regular season, following the completion of their pilgrimage. They are aware of the competition and the training that they’ll have to undergo to return.
Cameron was an atheist in his early teens,but when he was 17, during the height of his career on Growing Pains, he developed a belief in God, and became a born-again Christian. After converting to Christianity, he began to insist that story lines be stripped of anything he thought too adult or racy in Growing Pains. Cameron currently partners with fellow evangelist Ray Comfort, training Christians in evangelism. Together, they founded the ministry of The Way of the Master, which is best known for the television show of the same name that Cameron co-hosts, and which won the National Religious Broadcasters’ Best Program Award for two consecutive years.
David Chappelle converted to Islamic in 1998 after doing some soul searching as he said in an interview with Time Magazine. He told Time in a May 2005 interview, “I don’t normally talk about my religion publicly because I don’t want people to associate me and my flaws with this beautiful thing. And I believe it is beautiful if you learn it the right way.”
In 2005, Chappelle walked away from a $50 million deal with Comedy Central to do Season 3 of The Chappelle Show. He felt that the environment at the network was not healthy, so he went on a spiritual retreat to South Africa.
Richard Gere was raised by Methodist parents. His interest in Buddhism began in his twenties. Gere studied Zen Buddhism for five or six years before traveling to Nepal in 1978 with the Brazilian painter, Sylvia Martins where he met many Tibetan monks and lamas. He then met the 14th Dalai Lama in India and became a practicing Buddhist of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism and an active supporter of the Dalai Lama.
Gere is also a persistent advocate for human rights in Tibet; he is a co-founder of the Tibet House, creator of The Gere Foundation, and he is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Campaign for Tibet. Because he strongly supports the Tibetan Independence Movement, he is permanently banned from entering the People’s Republic of China.
Julia Roberts was brought up by a Catholic mother and a Baptist father. She became interested in Hinduism when she saw a picture of the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba. She’s said during interviews that she felt drawn to this picture and wanted to know more about this person. Since filming Eat, Love, Pray, Roberts and her family have now converted to Hinduism. While filming in India, Roberts and her family went to temple to “chant, pray and celebrate.”
Roberts even named her production company after her faith. The company is called Red Om Films. The ‘Om’ symbol is considered the mystical syllable containing the universe.
Article courtesy of Beliefnet.com. Beliefnet offers daily inspiration with news articles on faith, religion, politics, health, family entertainment, sustainable living and more.