Celebrities Who Are Religious Even In Hollywood
While celebrities are highly revered in Hollywood for their talents and contributions, religion is not the most common thing for them to speak about when promoting their music, TV shows, or movies. But in some cases, stars have opened up about the religious beliefs that guide their lives.
While some of these celebrities have faced consequences for their values, they have refused to back down from their beliefs. From A-list celebrities to chart-topping musicians, these stars haven’t let the criticism of others shift their values and thus remain devout to their faiths. Whose views do you most align with?
Carrie Underwood enjoyed stratospheric fame thanks to the hit reality show, American Idol, where she became a country-singing sensation almost overnight. The rising pressures of performance and entertainment expectations led her back to her childhood faith.
Underwood found comfort in her Christian beliefs after a series of devastating miscarriages led her back to prayer. After redefining what a personal relationship with God could be, she has found peace in the midst of tragedy once more.
Chris Pratt first rose to prominence for his role as Andy in the hit NBC sitcom Parks And Recreation. Establishing himself as a solid character actor through the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, he has become one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood today.
Despite his stratospheric success, fame has not gone to Chris Pratt’s head. His solid faith as a Christian keeps him grounded and humble, despite the amount of success he has enjoyed. Maybe that’s what makes him one of the most likable people in entertainment.
It’s hard to conceptualize anyone not knowing of the Kardashian clan these days, but very few of us associate religious affiliation with the over-the-top famous family. Kim Kardashian sets us straight by regaling tales of torture and discipline in Catholic school.
Now the iconic media mogul states that her stellar work ethic is due in part to her strict religious upbringing. Although they don’t disclose the details of their spiritual pursuits, the entire Kardashian clan claims allegiance to Christianity.
Kirk Cameron became famous in 1985 after being cast in the ABC television sitcom Growing Pains. He decided to embrace Christianity when he was 17 years old after being a former atheist.
Nowadays, Cameron is an evangelical Christian focusing on several faith-based projects. He is a pastor and leads the church The Way of the Master. Surrounded by fame and glamour, he says, “I want to use my platform … to advance the good.”
Iconic Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe was raised in the Evangelical Christian church until she met and began a high-profile relationship with Arthur Miller. Arthur played a pivotal role in getting Monroe to accept Judaism as her chosen belief structure, much to the dismay of her family.
Ironically, one of the more significant core values present in Judaism centers around family, which Monroe found to be a more rational and natural way of relating to others. She embraced the laws and principles of Judaism, practicing actively until her untimely passing.
For most of us, Pierce Brosnan will always be James Bond, the clandestine, worldly spy who tore up the globe as he chased villains, money, and plenty of women. In truth, Pierce’s character could not be more different from this iconic character that he plays with utmost finesse.
Brosnan was raised in the Catholic church and credits his faith for helping him get through hard times. He openly admits to committing to daily prayer to help him cope with the pressures of Hollywood life. He cites, “at the end of the day, you have to have something and for me, that is God, Jesus, my Catholic upbringing, and my faith.”
Jennifer Garner wasn’t heavily involved in spiritual pursuits until after she took a role in the film Miracles From Heaven. The movie’s plot around a young girl who had an after-death experience with Christ prompted Garner to do a deep dive into her own personal beliefs.
Shortly after starring in the film, she began going to church on Sundays, searching for lasting meaning in the mysteries of life. Getting her children involved and baptized in the church was the next logical step for the family’s spiritual evolution.
Next to the Dalai Lama himself, Richard Gere has to be one of the most well-known Buddhists in America. Since he was in his twenties, he has been immersed in Buddhist teachings, studying and deepening his understanding of the religion.
A meeting with the Dalai Lama remains one of the high points of Gere’s Buddhist experience. While he didn’t feel compelled to give up all his earthly possessions, the presence of loving greatness has inspired an even deeper study of the core principles of Buddhism and its significance.
Marie and Donny Osmond
The loveable Osmond duo has been making a name for themselves in the entertainment industry since the mid-sixties. Donny’s most famous role was in the biblical musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
The entire Osmond clan were devout followers of the Mormon faith; both Donny and Marie owe their modest, humble approach to life to this solid start. The Osmond siblings have both had to draw upon their faith in times of tribulation, and they credit the church in which they were raised for their strength.
Julia Roberts grew up with Christian values, but here’s yet another story of how an experience with a script led to other religious pursuits. Supposedly this crisis of faith occurred for Julia when she was filming Eat, Pray, Love.
While filming, the actress was seen several times with a Hindu preacher named Swami Shri Dharam. After spending time together in contemplation and conversation, Julia announced her enthusiastic switch to Hinduism, claiming that it gave her peace and a newfound passion for life.
Marky Mark has come a long way since his days behind the microphone. After making his film debut in Renaissance Man, he went on to score several other high-profile roles which quickly catapulted him to the top of the Hollywood heap.
In his personal life, Wahlberg is every bit as disciplined as in his professional pursuits. He rises every morning around 2:30 to pray and work out, having maintained this rigid schedule for years. What’s not to love about the dedication that involves personal development and spiritual evolution?
Elisabeth Moss is known as a lifelong student of Scientology. While those who understand it may find it distasteful, Moss’s immersion in the belief system from a young age has formed the basis of not only her beliefs but her work ethic.
Moss refrains from speaking out publicly about her beliefs or experience with the Church, as the organization frowns on disclosure of some of its innermost values and training methods. She remains intimately connected with the Church to date.
Stephen Colbert is best known for hosting The Colbert Report and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Having originally studied to be a dramatic actor, he switched gears after rubbing elbows with iconic comedians such as Steve Carell and Amy Sedaris.
Colbert was raised in a traditional and very religious Catholic home, never daring to question his beliefs until he was well into his twenties. A short-lived crisis of faith brought him back to his roots after a stranger handed him a Bible on the street.
Denzel Washington has enjoyed a long and illustrious career as an actor, producer, and director. His faith-filled walk began when he was just a child, as his father was a well-known Christian preacher. Religious traditions were a part of daily life and no doubt contributed to his success.
To this very day, Washington attends his childhood church each Sunday and spends time reading the Bible every day. As he puts God first in all of his activities, he attributes his success to his personal relationship and daily commitment to growth.
Natalie Portman is one of the most famous Jewish celebrities on the planet. She was born in the Holy Land of Israel and grew up in New York City. To this day, she has remained faithful to her Jewish upbringing.
“The older I get, the more I realize how different it is to be a Jew in a Jewish place as opposed to a Jew in a non-Jewish place,” she told The Telegraph. “It’s definitely a different feeling in terms of how freely you can be yourself and celebrate your culture and religion.”
Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Well-known basketball great Kareem Abdul Jabbar saw the light of Islam one day shortly after winning an NBA championship title. After changing his name from Lew Alcindor to Kareem, he dove into the history behind the religion and he never looked back.
“I emerged from this pilgrimage with my beliefs clarified and my faith renewed. From that year to this, I have never wavered or regretted my decision to convert to Islam.” Others view Jabbar’s unwavering faith as inspirational and uplifting.
Orlando Bloom has had starring roles in several culturally significant films of late, including The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Pirates Of The Caribbean. Though he dabbled in Christianity throughout his youth, he recently set his sights on Buddhism as his practice of choice.
Bloom joined an organization called Soka Gakkai, comprised of practicing Buddhists, in 2004. This centuries-old tradition was formed on the teachings of a Japanese Buddhist preacher who lived centuries before. Leave it to Bloom to make stodgy traditions fresh and relevant.
Mindy Kaling is best known for her breakout role as Kelly Kapoor in the iconic sitcom The Office. After numerous awards and recognition for her comedic genius, she has gone on to star in roles in film and television shows that she also helps produce.
Kaling takes a light yet loyal approach to her Hindu beliefs, correcting anyone that casually uses YOLO as being “religiously incorrect.” She sheds light on Hinduism in one memorable Office episode where she partakes in the celebration of Diwali.
Sean Astin had a Jewish birth father, a Catholic mother, an ex-atheist Buddhist stepfather, and a Hindu brother who presented him with many options to choose from as he grew into a person of faith.
Settling on Christianity as his chosen expression of faith, he convinced his wife and daughters to also become baptized in the Christian church. He has become much more discriminating when choosing roles these days, preferring roles that enhance his acting talents while reflecting his conservative values.
Kevin Sorbo enjoyed starring roles in Hercules and Andromeda. He also maintains a formidable presence in the Christian film industry with roles in God’s Not Dead and Let There Be Light. He is very open about his belief in Jesus Christ and is active in church communities and charities that are reflective of his beliefs.
Sorbo has strong opinions about the state of American society and the fact that moral decline has strong ties to the decline of religious, faith-based values in the country. His work in Christian film is a testament that he does what he can to blend success and solid family values.
Mayim Bialik is perhaps best known for her role as Amy in the iconic Big Bang Theory. From her humble beginnings as Blossom in the hit television sitcom, we fell in love with her slightly quirky and engaging personality.
These days, Bialik stays true to her roots, remaining quite outspoken about her staunch allegiance to Judaism. She shares freely about her life and religious beliefs via her website, Grok Nation, stating that Hollywood is less than welcoming to people of faith.
Kevin James is a hilarious presence in both television and film. With roles in King Of Queens and Paul Blart: Mall Cop, his natural comedic timing and talent make him one of the funniest leading men in entertainment today.
Despite the many pressures of life in Hollywood, James sticks to his Christian faith and maintains a deep connection with God in his life and his household. He is very thankful for the path he has traveled and gives credit to his Creator for his success and down-to-earth attitude.
Kristin Chenoweth is a multi-faced presence in the entertainment industry. Her musical talents made her a perfect fit for musical theater performances such as You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Wicked.
These days, she’s lighting up various stages and screens with both musical and acting abilities. She remains steadfastly loyal to her Christian upbringing, emulating Christ-like qualities of acceptance, forgiveness, and love, which isn’t so easy to do in Hollywood.
Dave Chappelle is well known for his sarcastic, comedic styling on stage and in film. His work as one of the premier comics of his generation has earned him Emmy awards, Grammy awards, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Despite being so out in the open on stage, Chappelle prefers to keep his religious cards close to his chest. He converted to Islam nearly twenty years ago, and he has chosen to practice and deepen his relationship on his terms without the scrutiny of the public eye.
If Dwight Schrute was a somewhat tortured but loveable character on the hit television series, The Office, his real-life counterpart is quite the opposite. Rainn Wilson is a loyal follower and participant of the Baha’i religion, regularly interviewing fellow members of the faith on his regular podcasts.
Using his personal pursuits as a springboard for spiritual connection, Wilson has cited that he believes spiritual and physical life can peacefully co-exist with proper guidance. He doesn’t view artistic development and spiritual development as different journeys, but as different aspects of the same path.
David Oyelowo is a British director, actor, and producer who first rose to prominence for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in the biographical film Selma. He has also enjoyed consistent success in television with roles on the hit series Spooks and the miniseries remake of Les Miserables.
With every role he takes on, Oyelowo is very intent on balancing his faith with his work choices. “My faith and my status as a father very much guide me in terms of what I do because I want to practice what I preach both as a Christian and a father.”
Growing up, Ginnifer Goodwin had the best of both worlds. Equal parts Jewish and Christian, she had exposure to both Saturday synagogue and Sunday church, giving her the opportunity to choose her own path as she grew up.
Goodwin went on to choose Judaism as her religion, and her husband Josh Dallas entered into a Jewish wedding contract with her in 2014. Both partners peacefully practice their faith together.
Tyler Perry of Madea fame is well known for his over-the-top portrayal of any character he plays. His work as both an actor and producer has earned him the distinction of being one of the highest-grossing men in entertainment today.
Perry is very open about his religious beliefs, professing his commitment to Christianity to all who will listen. His belief in his craft and the ability to influence others with his work leads him to represent both himself and his religion with the utmost integrity.
Selena Gomez had a wholesome start in children’s television with Barney & Friends, launching into a profitable music career that has netted her millions of dollars. Her young start and stable foundation are due in part to her traditional Catholic upbringing.
Gomez has made it a point to remain true to her Catholic/Christian roots by taking part in regular Sunday services and Christian conferences that she claims “significantly boost her faith” and provide her with the strength to maintain a demanding schedule.
Yaslin Bey, otherwise known as the talented rapper Mos Def, was first introduced to Islam by his Sunni father when he was in his early teens. Soon after his 19th birthday, Bey completed his Shahada, a test that publicly confirms conversion to Islam.
When asked about this significant choice, Mos Def replied, “You’re not gonna get through life without being worshipful or devoted to something. You’re either devoted to your job or to your desires. The best way to spend your life is to try to be devoted to prayer.”
Hailey Baldwin is married to Justin Bieber and is connected to Christian beliefs and the Hillsong Church. Rather than concealing her personal beliefs, Baldwin flaunts them for all the world to see.
These days, she prefers to surround herself with those that uplift and support her rather than fight the flow of Hollywood’s inner circles. Finding inner peace and tranquility in her beliefs, she seems content to be a representation of true spiritual connection.
Russell Brand is a British-born actor known for his comedic presence and over-the-top personality that lends itself well to various roles. In recent years, Brand has toned it down significantly in pursuit of a quieter existence with Hindu undertones.
Brand has embraced the concepts of spiritual enlightenment, brotherly love, and rejection of materialism as he pursues oneness with all of humanity. He believes that “there is divine beauty in all of us, and if we prioritize that over our own selfish needs, we will create a culture more in harmony with our planet.”
Alecia Beth Moore, or Pink, as she is more commonly known, was raised with both Jewish and Catholic roots. She spent most of her childhood immersed in both religions while learning to sing and dance from her father, also a talented musician.
Having declared her belief in Judaism, Pink took to social media in 2017 after Neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville stirred up allegiance to her Jewish heritage.
Patricia Heaton is no stranger to the highs and lows of Hollywood success. Her role as Debra on Everybody Loves Raymond was something she thought would set her up for a long, consistent career in entertainment.
Putting her faith and trust in God has helped Heaton through hard times. She commits to showing up and doing her best, but she openly admits that there is a greater plan in place for her life.
Who doesn’t love Jon Heder from Napoleon Dynamite fame? Turns out this lovable and somewhat snarky geek has found his true place in life, and it has nothing to do with the breakout role that grossed $44 million.
Heder has been an active member of the Mormon Church for quite some time, and he believes that his acting choices and successes are directly influenced by his deep beliefs and conservative values. “I think about how my faith affects my abilities to fulfill all my duties in life,” he explains.
Jim Gaffigan may joke about being Catholic, but his off-screen persona has him taking his faith much more seriously than he lets on. In fact, he jokingly chides about his religion so much that he was asked to perform for Pope Francis.
Gaffigan cites that there are elements of hard truth in every joke that he tells about his faith and experiences with God. “My material is not well-informed or hypercritical. It’s my experience, and these roots are the cultural Catholicism of America.”
Kris Jenner claims fierce loyalty to her Christian beliefs, with each subsequent generational glory learning from their older siblings how to best behave.
It is reported that all Kardashian households begin with prayer and recitation of Bible verses to infuse the day ahead with a spiritual and affirmative boost.
Strong lady Tina Turner went through some turbulent times in her life and career, particularly with an abusive husband in the late 70s. It was during this time that she discovered Buddhism, which she claims was the way back from a tortured existence to peace and tranquility.
The Soka Gakkai tradition teaches its participants to sing the Lotus Sutra, which has a particularly meaningful resonance for those who practice its rhythm and frequency. Turner incorporated this melodious meditation into her daily routine.
Selena Quintanilla was a brightly burning star and rising musical genius until her untimely passing at the hands of her manager. While growing up in southern Texas, she was subject to the strict and restrictive teachings of the Jehovah’s Witness way of life.
Even after Selena’s death, her family remains staunchly committed to refraining from celebrating holidays, anniversaries, or birthdays. Selena’s father Abraham admitted that they do not openly celebrate or endorse the celebration of their late daughter’s birthday or the anniversary of her death.