Former American tennis player Serena Williams asserts that she does not celebrate her birthday because she belongs to the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect.
Although she turned 42 on Tuesday, September 26, Williams will not be celebrating her birthday as her family does not believe in that tradition.
TennisUpToDate reports that the 23-time Grand Slam champion and her sister, Venus Williams, were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses, a subsect of Christianity, as they both followed their mother, Oracene Price, in converting to the religion in the early 1980s.
An important aspect of that belief is that those who practise the religion do not celebrate birthdays.
On multiple occasions, Williams has spoken about her religious beliefs.
“Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practised it and have been wanting to get into it,” she said in 2017.
Following her marriage and the birth of her first child, Olympia, Williams reaffirmed her decision to not celebrate her daughter’s first birthday in 2018.
“We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that,” she said at a press conference.
Furthermore, she stated that her husband, Alexis Ohanian, is very supportive of her decision.
“Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first,” she said.