Chris Pratt says he’s ‘never actually been’ to controversial Hillsong Church as he clarifies religious beliefs

‘Really I’m not a religious person,’ actor says

Related: Anna Faris says there were ‘a lot of things I ignored’ in marriage to Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt has clarified his connection to controversial megachurch Hillsong, with the actor revealing that he’s “never” been to the church.

The Jurassic World Dominion star, 43, who has been criticised in the past over his alleged affiliation with the church, opened up about his religious beliefs in an interview with Men’s Health for the July/August 2022 cover.

According to the actor, the backlash over his beliefs began when he spoke about his relationship with God during an acceptance speech at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, when he told the audience: “God is real. God loves you” and that “God wants the best for you”.

While reflecting on the speech to Men’s Health, Pratt said it may have stemmed from “hubris”. “Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he said.

He said he also understands why his comments may have been controversial, with the actor acknowledging that “religion has been oppressive as f**k for a long time”.

“I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person,” he continued. “I think there’s a distinction between being religious - adhering to the customs created by man, oftentimes appropriating the awe reserved for who I believe is a very real God - and using it to control people, to take money from people, to abuse children, to steal land, to justify hatred … The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride.”

Pratt also addressed the criticism of his religious views that occurred a year later, when he was accused by actor Elliot Page of allegedly attending Hillsong Church after discussing his faith during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The church, which is popular among celebrities, has faced controversy for its anti-LGBTQ views, with Carl Lentz, the former leader of its New York branch, previously claiming homosexuality is a sin. Lentz was fired in 2020 for “moral failures” after admitting to infidelity.

At the time, Pratt denied the claim in a statement, in which the actor said: “It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”

While speaking to Men’s Health, Pratt said that, despite the commonly circulated claim, he has never been to Hillsong Church, nor does he know anyone from the church.

“I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong. I don’t know anyone from that church,” he said.

As for why he didn’t clarify his relationship to the church in 2019, at the height of the backlash, Pratt told the outlet that he chose not to because he didn’t want to “throw a church under the bus”. However, he did note that he would feel differently about the hate group Westboro Baptist Church.

While Pratt clarified that he does not attend Hillsong, he told the outlet that he does attend Zoe Church. The church has a controversial past of its own, as Men’s Health noted that its pastor Chad Veach executive-produced a film in 2017 that linked “sexual brokenness” with “same-sex attraction”.

The backlash Pratt faced over his religious beliefs has not been the only controversy to consume the actor in recent years, as he also recently sparked criticism over comments he made that many interpreted as disrespectful to the son he shares with ex-wife Anna Faris, and found himself embroiled in a debate over the worst “Chris” in Hollywood.

Of the various criticisms, Pratt told the outlet that he doesn’t want to get caught “complaining or anything,” as he has “so many blessings”.

“I consider everything a blessing truly in my life,” he said, before questioning: “Why are they coming after me?”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in