Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Facebook he no longer considers himself an atheist, despite having previously described himself as a non-believer.
Zuckerberg's comments came after he posted the following message on his Facebook page:
"Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Priscilla, Max, Beast and me! Seeing the moments of joy and family shared on Facebook today is one of my favorite things about our community.
"I hope you're surrounded by friends and loved ones, and that you have a chance to reflect on all the meaningful things in your life. May the light of your friendships continue to brighten your life and our entire world."
Someone then commented to him he thought Zuckerberg was an atheist, to which he replied:
"No. I was raised Jewish, and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important."
Zuckerberg did not provide any more details, and it is unclear which religion he adheres to now, or if he is merely acknowledging the importance of religion in general. The Huffington Post pointed out, however, the title of his holiday greeting on Facebook was "celebrating Christmas."
Zuckerberg's wife Priscilla is a practicing Buddhist, which he has taken interest in, even saying a prayer in front of the Buddhist landmark Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an, China during a 2015 visit, The New York Post reported.
If indeed Zuckerberg now believes in a specific religion, it would be bucking a recent trend, as the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated — describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular" — has jumped more than 6 percentage points, from 16.1 percent in 2007 to 22.8 in 2014, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
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