Hinduism is one of the oldest and largest followed religions in the world. Over a billion people worldwide are practicing Hindus and for them, it is more like a way of life than a religion. It has influenced even people in the West, who seem to have taken a liking for the world’s oldest religion. Be it learning Sanskrit or learning Yoga or turning vegetarian, the west has been heavily influenced by Hinduism. So much so that many westerners including Americans have converted to Hinduism. According to reports 2.23 million people in the USA practice Hinduism. Christianity is by far the largest practiced religion in the USA, but their practice share has fallen considerably. There are several Hindu groups that are gaining a stronghold in the US. Their annual festivals and programs see a huge turnout of Caucasians. There are few celebrities who have converted to Hinduism as well.
1) Julia Roberts
America’s sweetheart and one of the highest-paid actresses in the world converted to Hinduism from Christianity. She is a follower of Neem Karoli Baba and turned to Hinduism after being inspired by him. She has even given Hindu names to her children – Laxmi for Hazel, Ganesh for Phinnaeus, and Krishna Balram for Henry. Yes, people. Julia Roberts is one of the Hindu American Celebrities!
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2) Renee Lynn
A public figure, published author, columnist and the founder of Voice For India, she was born in New Jersey to a Christian family. She is said to have visited India and fell in love with the culture and traditions. So much so that she converted to Hinduism. She is now promoting Hinduism in the United States.
3) Elizabeth Gilbert
Author of the famous book Eat, Pray Love which was later made into a movie. Elizabeth was born in a Christian family in Connecticut. However, she was drawn to the mystic Hindusim in her adulthood and she converted to Hinduism. She even lived in India for a while and that turned out to be her inspiration behind writing the book. She is one of our famous Hindu American Celebrities.
4) George Harrison
Who doesn’t know George Harrison? He was a member of the band ‘Beatles’ and one of the most loved and respected singers in the world. George, while touring India fell in love with the country and the culture. He converted to Hinduism. When he passed away his ashes were immersed in the Holy water of the Ganges.
5) J D Salinger
If you have read the book ‘The Catcher In The Rye’, you would be knowing J D Salinger. The author who wrote the bestselling book, was heavily inspired by the Eastern philosophies. He used to practice Zen Buddhism, but later on converted to Hinduism. He was also inspired by the book and life of spiritual guru Sri Ramakrishna.
All these people found their peace and harmony in Hinduism. What does it say about Hinduism? That it is one of the most loved and liberal religions in the world. Sure, the American Celebrities converted into being Hindu.