Actor Chris Pratt has set the record straight about his relationship with Hillsong Church and distinguishes that his faith in God has less to do with man-made religion than his personal walk with the Lord.
The "Jurassic World Dominion" star recently spoke with Men's Health for its July/August cover story. Even though many know him for being a Christian, he maintained that he is "not a religious person" and believes religion has been "oppressive."
He clarified his affiliation with Hillsong Church as he has faced criticism for being associated with the Australia-based global megachurch that has been marred by various scandals in recent years.
"I never went to Hillsong. I've never actually been to Hillsong. I don't know anyone from that church," the 43-year-old actor shared.
In 2019, actress Ellen Page criticized Pratt for attending Hillsong Church in Los Angeles. Page, a biologically female trans-identified Hollywood star, now goes by the name Elliot.
Page labeled Pratt "infamously anti-LGBTQ" for attending the church.
At the time, Pratt clarified that he goes "to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone." The church he attended then and still does is Zoe Church, led by Pastor Chad Veach.
Pratt told Men's Health that he doesn't attend Zoe Church exclusively and said his daughter was baptized in a Santa Monica Catholic church where his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, worshipped as a child.
When the Hillsong rumor first began, Pratt chose not to respond to the claims of his Hillsong involvement because he said he did not want to "throw a church under the bus."
"If it's like the Westboro Baptist Church, that's different," he said.
The sometimes vulgar "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor labeled religion as "oppressive as f*** for a long time" and found it amazing that he became the "face of religion" in the mainstream media.
"I didn't know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I'm not a religious person," Pratt explained. "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."
The father of three said his relationship with God is more personal.
"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," he added.
In discussing the negative backlash he has received online, he said people pegged him as the "worst Chris in Hollywood."
"You don't ever wanna get caught complaining or anything, [because] I have so many blessings. I consider everything a blessing truly in my life. [But] why are they coming after me?"
The actor has often shared his faith publicly.
In 2018, he accepted the Generation Award at the MTV Movie and TV Awards and used the platform to share nine points of biblically-infused advice.
After Pratt's divorce from Faris, he revealed that his pastor's books helped him keep his faith strong.
"I read books by my Pastor, Chad Veach in Zoe Church LA," he said in a home video in 2017. "I find his book Faith Forward Future to be very helpful!"
TMZ first reported that Pratt attended Veach's church after his very public split with his wife of eight years.
The actor has also been seen taking his son, Jack, to the church at the Del Rey Theater in Los Angeles several times.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: email@example.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic