Former Atheist Mark Zuckerberg Gets Religion and Philanthropy

 

MarkZuckerbergThe growth of Facebook has been phenomenal. The graph showing its stock price over the past several years is the most steadily climbing graph line I think I’ve ever seen for a stock. This year, Facebook’s stock price is up 40%, which is 4x the S&P 500. In the past five years, Facebook’s stock price has escalated 670%.

Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook. In 2004, he dropped out of the elite Harvard University to start the company.

Mark Zuckerberg recently turned from atheism to religion. As his name suggests, Zuckerberg is ethnically Jewish. And his Facebook profile used to always say he was an atheist. But last Christmas, Mark revealed his change of mind for the first time publicly by stating on Facebook, “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah” from “Priscilla, Max, Beast, and me.” Priscilla is Mark’s wife; Max is their daughter; and Beast is the name of their dog. Mark explained, “I was raised Jewish, and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.” So far, Mark has not indicated that he prefers one particular religion over another. But there may be some hints.

Mark’s wife, Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg, is a practicing Buddhist. Mark says he wants to learn more about Buddhism. Last summer, Mark and Priscilla met Pope Francis at the Vatican. They say it was a very moving and memorable experience for them. They were impressed with the pope’s compassion for people. Mark said, “You can feel his warmth and kindness, and how deeply he cares about helping people.”

Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg themselves have developed quite a sense of compassion for others. Some time ago, they announced that during their lifetimes they will be giving to charity a whopping 99% of their wealth derived from Facebook. As of this writing, Forbes says the net worth of these two Zuckerbergs is $69.9 billion. Mark and Priscilla own 17% of Facebook’s shares of stock. Mark Zuckenberg is now the sixth richest person in the world, and he is only 33 years old.

The Huffington Post reports that Mark Zuckenberg told Pope Francis that he and Priscilla eventually will donate the majority of their wealth to charity, which he said follows Jesus’ teachings. Very interesting!

Jesus once encountered “a certain ruler” who thought he had kept the Law of Moses thoroughly, thus loving his neighbor as himself. We read in the Bible, “When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God'” (Luke 18.22 NRSV).

 

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