Chris Pratt’s outspokenness about his Christian faith has become a staple of his public persona in recent months, and a recent appearance on Colbert in which he lightheartedly discussed a Bible-based diet prompted actress Ellen Page to call out Hillsong Church, Pratt’s place of worship, for being “infamously anti lgbtq.”
Page later doubled down on her criticism, tweeting, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed. Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes it severe. Full stop. Sending love to all.” In response to criticism of her stance, Page added, “Conversion therapy and anti lgbtq rhetoric is extremely damaging. Children kill themselves. People suffer.”
The organization in question, the celebrity-laden Hillsong, has made it clear over the years that they find homosexuality to be a sin, and investigations have revealed a history that includes gay conversion therapy. They released a statement in 2015 saying that, while everyone is “welcome,” they “do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership.”
Pratt responded to Page’s remarks on Monday, taking to Instagram with a statement about Hillsong’s welcoming environment and the ways in which they supported him during his divorce from actress Anna Faris.
“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,” he wrote. “I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone. Despite what the Bible says about divorce, my church community was there for me every stop of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk. They helped me tremendously offering love and support. It is what I have seen them do for others on countless occasions regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender.”
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Of course, Pratt is just echoing Hillsong’s own stance here, using language about the welcoming nature of the church without addressing its deeply held beliefs regarding homosexuality. He goes on, however, to distinguish his own beliefs from those of the church.
“My faith is important to me but no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or group of people,” he wrote. “My values define who I am. We need less hate in this world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgement of their fellow man.”
Read his full statement below.