Wahlberg: Christianity Unpopular In Hollywood But ‘Cannot Deny’ Faith

Actor Mark Wahlberg observed Ash Wednesday with the cross on his forehead prior to being interviewed by Samantha Guthrie on “Today.” The performer spoke frankly about his Catholic faith and the trials of being a believer in Hollywood.

He acknowledged that his Christianity is unusual among the Tinseltown crowd. And while he said he does not want to “jam it down anyone’s throat…I do not deny my faith.”

Wahlberg noted that being a Christian is “not popular in my industry,” but he added that denying his faith would be a sin and “it’s important for me to share that with people.”

The longtime actor said he has friends from many different religious backgrounds and “all different types of faith.” It is important, he declared, to respect and honor their beliefs as well.

His religious faith brings discipline into his life, something Wahlberg said he learned when he transitioned from his earlier music career. Getting movie roles showed him the necessity of personal discipline, and he credited that trait with affording him many of life’s benefits.

Wahlberg explained, “I’ve been rewarded for it so much, and I want to share that with people, whether that’s with fasting, working out more, detaching from other things and just spending more time with God, in prayer or thoughtful reflection.”

When asked of the importance of his faith in his life, the “Transformers” star quickly said “it’s everything.” Wahlberg admitted to not being perfect but said that “God didn’t come to save the saints. He came to save the sinners.”

He said that everyone has dealt with issues in their lives, and he’s certainly no different. Wahlberg said “we all want to be better versions of ourselves and, through focusing on my faith, it’s allowed me to do that.”

The actor and former musician had troubled times as a young man, once serving 45 days in prison for a pair of felony assaults. He freely admits to having warped views of life before he turned himself around.

The earlier musical career spawned a successful run of Hollywood films, including last year’s biographical drama “Father Stu.” The passion project chronicled the life of an amateur boxer who forsook his former agnostic beliefs, began going to church and ultimately became a respected priest.

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