Mark Wahlberg remains a devout Catholic despite faith being unpopular in Hollywood

Mark Wahlberg is not one to hide his faith, in fact, lately he’s been very vocal about his beliefs.

The actor appeared on the Today Show Wednesday, which also happened to be Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. During his segment he spoke with Savannah Guthrie about his choice to not push religion on others, especially his children.

“I don’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin.”

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“You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but I cannot deny my faith.”

The 51-year-old actor wore ashes in the sign of a cross on his forehead while he spoke with Guthrie.

Ashes are worn in the observance of Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for Catholics.

Wahlberg explained fasting during the Lenten season, and while most people associate it with food you don’t necessarily have to fast from food.

“There are many different elements to fasting,” he said. “I think the important thing to understand is that, first of all, if you have issues with food, there are other things. God knows the things that he wants you to detach from. We all know those things that make us feel guilty, don’t make us feel as good as we should.”

“So (it’s about) being able to detach from those things and focus on good habits as opposed to bad habits.”

As for himself, Wahlberg said he planned on not eating meat and having only one meal on Ash Wednesday, something he’ll continue to do through Good Friday.

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He also spoke of the discipline it takes to participate in Lent, and it’s something he believes has helped him throughout his life.

“Once I started getting into movies and transitioned from music, I realized I needed a lot of discipline in my life, and that discipline has afforded me so many other things. 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 in thoughtful reflection.”

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