Celebrities and conversions: The way I pray

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Freddie Aguilar
Freddie Aguilar

Freddie Aguilar[/caption] Legendary Pinoy singer Freddie Aguilar has tied the knot with his 16-year old girlfriend on Friday by first converting to Islam. And while some speculate that he only did so to enable him to marry the young woman, others believe that for the former Catholic, it was brought on by a genuine change in beliefs. Many celebrities have converted from one faith to another. Here are five of them: [caption id="attachment_49371" align="alignleft" width="300"]

Robin Padilla
Robin Padilla

Robin Padilla[/caption] Robin Padilla – From Jehovah's Witness to Islam His fame was cut short after being convicted for illegal possession of firearms in the '90s. While inside the New Bilibid Prison, Robin shed his “bad boy” image and converted to Islam (Muslim name: Abdul Aziz). He married actress-host Mariel Rodriguez, a Catholic, in India in 2010. [caption id="attachment_49372" align="alignright" width="200"]

Christopher Roxas
Christopher Roxas

Christopher Roxas[/caption] Christopher Roxas From Catholicism to Iglesia Ni Cristo Christopher admits that, at first, he just followed the way of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) in 1996 for the sake of the parents of his then-girlfriend, now-wife Gladys Reyes. But upon understanding the doctrine, he embraced the INC practice. The couple is married for nine years now and with three beautiful children. [caption id="attachment_49373" align="alignleft" width="300"]

Tom Cruise (Photo from AP)
Tom Cruise (Photo from AP)

Tom Cruise (Photo from AP)[/caption] Tom CruiseFrom Catholicism to Scientology Ex-wife Mimi Rogers introduced the Church of Scientology to Tom, who had a Catholic upbringing, in 1990. Since then, the multiple Golden Globe Award-winning actor has been a vocal advocate of the religion-slash-belief system – which he claims helped him overcome his dyslexia. Tom was awarded Scientology’s Freedom Medal of Valor by the Church’s leader David Miscavige in 2004. [caption id="attachment_49374" align="alignright" width="253"]

George Harrison (Photo from www.georgeharrison.com)
George Harrison (Photo from www.georgeharrison.com)

George Harrison (Photo from www.georgeharrison.com)[/caption] George Harrison– From Christianity to Hinduism The lead guitarist of the Beatles became attracted to Indian culture and mysticism in the '60s, to the point that he even introduced it to his band mates. George taking psychedelic drugs translated to his journey to meditation and Hinduism. He eventually adopted the Hare Krishna tradition, particularly the japa-yoga bead chant, devoting himself into it until his deathbed. [caption id="attachment_49375" align="alignleft" width="300"]

Madonna (Photo from AP)
Madonna (Photo from AP)

Madonna (Photo from AP)[/caption] Madonna From Catholicism to Kabbalah In the '90s, a mystical tradition of Judaism, the Kabbalah, caught the fancy of Madonna. Spiritual counselor Eitan Yardeni – who has given the likes of Demi Moore and Roseanne Barr one-on-one Kabbalah instructions – thinks that it might have been a way for the pop star to deal with her stardom. Madonna wasn't spared from criticism over her Kabbalah practice with some rabbis deeming her involvement in the religion as "sacrilegious," and a case of "celebrity dilettantism."