Chris Pratt responded to Ellen Page’s remarks on the Christian congregation Hillsong Church, which the lesbian actor recently defined as ‘infamously anti-LGBT.’
Pratt, who attends a church that—according to The New York Times—has links with Hillsong, addressed the statements in an Instagram story posted on Monday (February 11) displaying the picture of a sheep.
“It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church the opens their doors to absolutely everyone,” Pratt wrote.
The Guardian of the Galaxy star did not provide specific evidence of the church’s inclusivity towards LGBT+ people, rather sharing his own experience with the Christian congregation which, he said, embraced him during his divorce from Anna Faris more than a year ago.
“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 wrote.
Page’s statements denouncing the Hillsong Church spurred from an interview Pratt did on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on February 7 about being “inspired” by his pastor to perform the 21-day Bible-derived Daniel fast.
Page tweeted in response: “Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?”
She returned to the topic a few days later, writing another tweet on February 9: “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed. Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all.”
Is Hillsong Church anti-LGBT?
The Hillsong Church was originally founded in Australia by anti-gay marriage pastor Brian Houston and has set up congregations in various countries such as the UK and US, where it counts several celebrities as members.
“Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles.”
— Brian Houston
In a 2015 blog post titled ‘Do I Love Gay People?’ Houston however clarified that the church does not “affirm a gay lifestyle.”
He wrote: “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.”
In his Instagram story, Pratt said his affiliation a certain church does not affect his personal beliefs.
Pratt wrote: “My faith is important to me but no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or any 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.
“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.”