Actor Chris Pratt on Monday responded to claims by actress Ellen Page that he attends an anti-LGBTQ church.
Page made the claims after watching Pratt evangelize about his religion to Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, tweeting: “Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?”
Wrote Pratt on Instagram stories over a photo of lambs in a field: “It has recently been suggested that i belong to a church which ‘hates people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
He added “Despite what the Bible says about divorce my church community was there for me every step of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk. They helped me tremendously offering love and support. It is what I have seen them do for others on countless occasions regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender.”
Pratt went on: “My faith is important to me but no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or group of people. My values define who I am. We need less hate in this world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgement of their fellow man.”
Pratt concluded: “Jesus said ‘I give you a new command, love one another.’ This is what guides me in my life. He is a God of Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness. Hate has no place in my or this world.”
Pratt reportedly attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles but has also attended Hillsong, according to reports. Zoe Church’s founder Chad Veach told the NYT that he modeled his ministry after Hillsong.
Hillsong’s pastor Brian Houston made his feelings about gay people clear in a 2015 blog post, writing: “I do believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear, as I have mentioned in previous public statements. Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid. I recognise this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world. I love and accept people on a personal level and if I lived next to a gay couple I would treat them with the same embrace I would any other neighbour because – surprise, surprise – not all my neighbours think like me.”