Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a Facebook user over the holiday period that he is not an atheist, Quartz reports, despite having previously described himself as a non-believer. On December 25, Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page: “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Priscilla, Max, Beast and me!”
One Facebook user replied: “Aren’t you an atheist?” to which Zuckerberg responded: “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 previously referred to himself as an atheist on his Facebook page for several years, according to Quartz. When Zuckerberg visited China in 2015, he prayed outside the Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an. “Buddhism is an amazing religion and philosophy, and I have been learning more about it over time,” he said at the time. “I hope to continue understanding the faith more deeply.”
“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.”
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American computer programmer, Internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of social networking website Facebook. His net worth is estimated to be US$50 billion as of December 2016, ranking him the 5th richest person in the world. Together with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, he launched Facebook from Harvard’s dormitory rooms. The group then introduced Facebook to other campuses. Facebook expanded rapidly, with one billion users by 2012. Zuckerberg was involved in various legal disputes that were initiated by others in the group, who claimed a share of the company based upon their involvement during the development phase of Facebook. In December 2012, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced they would give the majority of their wealth over the course of their lives to “advancing human potential and promoting equality” in the spirit of The Giving Pledge. On December 1, 2015, they announced they would give 99% of their Facebook shares (worth about $45 billion at the time) to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.