Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he’s grown more religious over the last few years as a result of fatherhood and the “challenges we’ve been through as a company.”
In an on-stage interview at a conference in Utah on Friday, the 35-year-old technology executive made rare public comments about his Jewish faith.
Asked about who his mentors are Zuckerberg segued into a discussion about religion. “I’ve become more religious,” he said: “The last few years have been really humbling for me.”
He went on: “I think there’s a comfort in knowing and having confidence that there are things bigger than you … it’s why I have so much faith in democracy overall, it’s why I care so much about giving people a voice.”
Zuckerberg attributed his evolution to two factors: The issues his company has faced over the last few years, and the birth of his two daughters, now aged four and two.
He added: “You have to believe in things that are bigger than yourself.”
Zuckerberg subsequently jokingly clarified that “I did not mean to say that God is a mentor.”
The billionaire chief executive grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York in a Jewish household. He only rarely talks about his faith, and in a reply to a Facebook post in 2016 said that after a period of questioning in his life, he no longer considered himself an atheist. ” I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important,” he wrote.
His wife Priscilla Chan is Buddhist, he wrote in a Facebook post in 2015.