- (Photo: Reuters/ Stefan Wermuth)
Rumors that Tom Cruise has left the Church of Scientology were put to rest this weekend, after the actor wore his prized Freedom Medal of Valor at an exclusive Scientology event this weekend.
"He looked at home and stood up to sing along to the Scientology anthem at the end before leaving a little earlier than everyone else," an insider told the Daily Mail. Cruise was the special guest of honor at the ceremony hosted by the Church he has attended for years.
Many had speculated that Cruise was considering leaving the Church in order to spend more time with his daughter, Suri. Ex-wife Katie Holmes has full custody of the child and Cruise has been noticeably absent in her life, leading to rumors that the Church had encouraged him to separate from his family after the divorce.
According to reports, the Church of Scientology encourages a clean, direct break with unbelievers, meaning that Cruise would have nothing to do with Holmes or even his six-year-old daughter. But he has adamantly denied those reports, saying that he intends to remain a central figure in his daughter's life.
At the Scientology ceremony this weekend, Cruise donned the hefty Freedom Medal of Honor presented to him in 2008 by David Miscavige. The Church leader praised Cruise as "the most dedicated Scientologist I know."
"Tom seemed delighted that there were so many well-wishers," the insider noted. "It was his first major public appearance at a Church event since his divorce, and it seemed pretty clear that he hasn't left the religion."
Cruise has been involved with the Church since 1990 and has since been an outspoken advocate for the organization. It is believed that the Church, and religion in general, was a major factor in Homes' decision to divorce Cruise. Since leaving, she has returned to her Roman Catholic roots.