Internationally recognized comedian Steven Harvey stunned many of his Christian fans after he revealed that he believes there's more than one way to Heaven.
On Saturday, Harvey posted a video on his official YouTube channel titled “How Steve Harvey Prays” that shows the “Family Feud” host at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the United Arab Emirates, a majority Muslim Persian Gulf nation where Islam is the official religion. While Christian expatriates in the UAE are allowed to worship in private, they are prohibited by law from praying in public or evangelizing.
"There's no one way to Heaven, no one way to paradise,” Harvey declared. “It's like television, now there's [sic] over 800 channels on cable, and they're all pretty entertaining. So I'm pretty sure that to get to Heaven, there's got to be more than one route. Because somebody watching another channel or taking another channel than you, they're still getting entertained, and they probably still getting to Heaven.”
In the Bible, however, Jesus clearly states that He is the only way.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me,” Jesus said in John 14:6. In John 8:24 Jesus said: “For unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”
The Apostle Peter echoed the words of Christ in Acts 4:12, saying, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Harvey captioned the video by writing, “There’s [sic] many ways to serve GOD and keep your faith. My trip to The Emirates always reminds me how we can live in harmony and in the much-needed peace we all crave globally."
In the nearly five-minute video, Harvey also shows viewers the exterior of the Mary Mother of Jesus Mosque, which is located near St. Andrews Anglican church. The mosque was renamed in 2017 by the order of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan to “consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions,” Al Arabiya reported at the time.
"Can you imagine a mosque with the name Jesus on it? Yeah, the world could use a little bit more of that,” Harvey said while standing outside the mosque that was renamed “Mariam Umm Eisa” (Mary Mother of Jesus Mosque).
The video released on Jan. 23 was part of a six-episode docuseries titled "When Steve meets East." In the series, which was produced by the UAE Government Media Office as part of the UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism, Harvey and his family are seen touring various destinations in The Emirates alongside travel vlogger Nuseir Yassin.
In the last video of the series, Harvey also explained why he never lost his faith, even as he became more wealthy and successful.
"Success and happiness is a process. And in this process, I was very aware of the amount of faith that was needed,” Harvey said. “As a matter of fact, it really took more faith than I even thought I had.”
Harvey has frequently spoken about his Christian roots and faith that was instilled in him by his mother. That's why his recent comments perplexed many of his Christian fans.
Yassin, Harvey's co-host in the series, noted that Harvey’s three sons are a reflection of the entertainer’s inclusive beliefs. Two of his sons have “Christian names,” and another has the Muslim name, Ali.
The video ends with Yassin calling for unity among Jews, Christians, Muslims, and people of all faiths "in a time where religious intolerance is on the rise.”
When Harvey’s TV show was in rotation, he often featured Christian guests and spoke about God and his faith in Jesus.
Harvey's late mother, who was a Sunday school teacher, died over 18 years ago, but the comedian has often talked about the influence she had on cultivating his faith. In a past Mother's Day tribute on "The Steve Harvey Show," he revealed that she went to church nearly every day of the week and instilled godly principles in him and his siblings. That, coupled with his father's influence, led him to do the right thing, he said.