Actor Chris Pratt has faced a social media storm in recent years. The Jurassic World star has been accused of holding controversial religious views, including an alleged affiliation with the Hillsong megachurch. The scandal-ridden institution receives major backlash for staunch anti-LGBTQ views including gay-conversion therapy.
Pratt recently spoke with Men’s Health and addressed the accusations head-on. “I never went to Hillsong,” Pratt said. “I’ve never actually been to Hillsong. I don’t know anyone from that church.”
The actor did not hesitate to distance himself from the controversial organization. Pratt said he believes the perception of his religious views began after an acceptance speech at the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards. During his acceptance speech, he said, “God is real. God loves you, God wants the best for you. Believe that; I do.”
With the benefit of hindsight, Pratt admits the language may have been too much for some. “Maybe it was hubris for me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said,” Pratt said. “I’m not sure I touched anybody.”
Pratt went on to clarify while he does take his religion seriously, he said he does not subscribe to the beliefs many are accusing him of.
“It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which, ‘hates people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth,” Pratt said. “I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone,” Pratt said.
What’s the Real Story Behind Chris Pratt?
Prat went on record to say he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles. He admits the distinction probably won’t be enough to silence his critics, but he understands that kind of negativity is hard to shake.
“I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person,” Pratt said. “I think there’s a distinction between being religious … and using it to control people. To take money from people, to abuse children, to steal land, to justify hatred. Whatever it is. 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.”
Regardless of his critics, Pratt has proven to be a major movie star. The latest Jurassic World film, Dominion, was recently released and made a major splash at the box office. Soon, he’ll be returning to his role of Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and this summer’s Thor: Love and Thunder.
Director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, James Gunn, has publically supported Pratt throughout his media controversies. “It absolutely infuriates me,” Gunn said. “Chris is unspeakably kind to people; he goes out of his way to help kids. He’s an especially loving father. And there’s a lot of stuff that people have literally just made up about him – about his politics, about who he is, about what he believes of other people, you know?”