Many athletes, artists, celebrities, politicians and other prominent individuals belong to religious minority groups rather than the dominant group’s religion in their respective countries. Some of the most famous individuals include:
Manmohan Singh (1932). The former Prime Minister of India (served from 2004 to 2014) is a follower of Sikhism. He was the first Sikh to lead the predominantly Hindu country as approximately 80% of Indian population or 950 million people adhere to Hinduism. Sikhism, on the other hand, has ‘only’ about 19 million followers (in India).
Muhammad Ali (1942). The former American boxer and one of the most respected sports figures in history is a Muslim. Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., Ali practised Baptism in his early life. In 1964, he converted to Islam, changed his name and joined the Nation of Islam, a Detroit-based Islamic religious movement. In 1975, he converted to Sunni Islam.
Tina Turner (1939). The celebrated American singer, dancer and author adopted Buddhism in the early 1970s and according to the singer herself, found comfort, consolation and strength in her new religion when she was going through a difficult period in her life. However, she also continues to practice Baptism and considers herself Buddhist-Baptist.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963). The 35th U.S. President whose death is still a source of major controversy is the only Roman Catholic to hold office to date. Christians account for over 75% of the U.S. population but more than one half adhere to various Protestant churches. Only about 25% of all Christians in the country belong to the Roman Catholic Church.
Tom Cruise (1962). The famous American actor who was nominated for the Academy Award three times is also one of the foremost adherents of the Church of Scientology, a religious movement that was founded in the early 1950s by L. Ron Hubbard.
Bob Marley (1945-1981). The internationally acclaimed Jamaican reggea singer and songwriter was a highly devoted follower of the Rastafari movement that emerged in Jamaica during the 1930s. One year before his death, he converted to Christianity but only after he refused leg amputation to stop the spread of cancer based on his religious beliefs.