Morgan Freeman delves into faith

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Morgan Freeman delves into faith

LOS ANGELES - During his career as an actor, Morgan Freeman has played the role of God. In real life, he claims to be “undeniably” a believer.

Now, the Oscar winner has traveled more than 120,000 kilometers (more than 74,000 miles) and visited 30 cities to try to unravel mysteries of spirituality around the world.

Is there a God? What about the devil? How do people experience it? What is behind the secrets of different faiths?

Freeman told AFP that on this long journey he understood that religion, belief in a God, serves as “society’s glue.”

“In almost every society, whatever the religion is the point is to keep the people together functioning as a unit,” he said.

The third season of “The Story of God,” which has six episodes, premieres March 5 on National Geographic.

It sees Freeman spend time with “living goddesses” in Nepal; look at the supposed crown of thorns worn by Jesus in the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris; meet a “medium” in Vietnam; and experience the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The season was put on hold after accusations of sexual harassment against the Oscar winner. But National Geographic opted to continue with the series after an investigation.

Asked if he thought the accusations affected his reputation, or career, Freeman was firm. “No,” the 81-year-old actor replied dryly before ending the interview.

The series goes into great detail in its analysis of religion and rituals, but avoids addressing current issues - such as pedophilia scandals that plague the Catholic Church worldwide.

“I think that one of the things that we pride ourselves on is really shining a light on the goodness and wellbeing,” said Lori McCreary, executive producer of the show with James Younger and Freeman. “And you know sometimes we talk about what’s different in religion and what causes people to be separate.”

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