Chris Pratt faces outrage over religious beliefs and denies ever belonging to anti-LGBTQ church

“Why are they coming after me?” Chris Pratt recently asked in a new profile for Men’s Health magazine. The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Jurassic World’ star was referring to social media users who continue to follow his every move. Pratt linked the hate he receives on social media to a public misconception about his religious beliefs, which he says dates back to a speech he gave at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards.

Pratt received the awards ceremony’s life achievement honor, titled the Generation Award, and said the following line in his acceptance speech: “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.

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“I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when I’m really not a religious person,” Pratt told Men’s Health. “I think there’s a distinction between being religious – adhering to man-made customs, often appropriating the fear reserved for what I believe to be a very real God – and using that to control people, taking money from people, abusing children, stealing land, justifying hate. It doesn’t matter what it is. The evil that is in the heart of every man has slipped on the back of religion and is came with him.

The backlash against Pratt for his religious beliefs has intensified over his alleged involvement with Hillsong Church, which has long been condemned for being anti-LGBTQ. Elliot Page apparently slammed Pratt on social media after the actor spoke about religion during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

“If you’re a famous actor and belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone just wonders why they’re not being approached,” Page wrote. “Being anti-LGBTQ is wrong, there are not two sides. The damage it does is significant. Full stop.”

Pratt responded at the time with his own statement which read, “It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church that ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘sadly anti-LGBTQ’. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a man who believes that everyone has the right to love whoever they want without the judgment of their neighbor.

In his Men’s Health profile, Pratt clarified the ordeal, saying, “I’ve never been to Hillsong. I have never been to Hillsong. I don’t know anyone from this church.

When asked why he never outright denied being in Hillsong before the interview, Pratt added, “I’m gonna, like, throw a church under the bus? If it’s like the Westboro Baptist Church, it’s different.

“It makes me absolutely furious,” Pratt’s ‘Guardians’ director James Gunn said of the social media vitriol against the actor. “Chris is incredibly nice to people; he goes out of his way to help the children. He is a particularly loving father. And there’s a lot of things that people have literally made up about him – about his politics, about who he is, about what he believes in other people, you know?

Pratt and Gunn reunite for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” opening May 2023. The actor can currently be seen in “Jurassic World Dominion” and has a supporting role in “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Pratt’s new Amazon Prime Video series “The Terminal List” launches July 1.

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Ruth R. Culp