“Religion has been oppressive as f*** for a long time,” Pratt says, and denies ever attending Hillsong Church.
Chris Pratt is seeking to change some widespread perceptions about his religious views.
The Jurassic World trilogy star told Men’s Health in a new cover story that he’s not nearly as religious as people think (“spiritual” might be a more accurate word based on his description, though he doesn’t use it). Pratt also strongly criticized organized religion for its history of well-documented sins.
“Religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time,” he said. “I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person. 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. Whatever it is. The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed onto the back of religion and come along for the ride.”
Pratt was also asked about reports that he attended Hillsong Church, which has its own long line of controversies.
“I never went to Hillsong,” he said. “I’ve never actually been to Hillsong. I don’t know anyone from that church.”
The 43-year-old actor’s public association with religion seemed to stem from one of his “nine rules” that he cited when accepting an award in 2018 at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. “God is real,” he said. “God loves you, God wants the best for you. Believe that; I do.”
Pratt told Men’s Health: “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.”
The subsequent backlash against Pratt made headlines in 2019 when actor Elliot Page slammed Pratt for attending an “infamously anti-LGBTQ” church, and then added on Twitter: “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 is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all.”
Pratt countered at the time that Page’s comments “could not be further from the truth” and said he attends a church “that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
Pratt confirmed to Men’s Health writer Mickey Rapkin that he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively; outlets have vaguely described the church as a “Hillsong affiliate” or “Hillsong-adjacent.”
The actor also noted he wept after getting backlash for praising his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger for giving birth to a “healthy” girl. “A bunch of articles came out and said, ‘That’s so cringeworthy. I can’t believe Chris Pratt would thank her for a healthy daughter when his first child was born premature. That’s such a dig at his ex-wife,’” he said. “And I’m like, That is fucked up. My son’s gonna read that one day. He’s nine. And it’s etched in digital stone. It really fucking bothered me, dude. I cried about it. I was like, I hate that these blessings in my life are—to the people close to me—a real burden.”