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Chris Pratt defended by Avengers co-stars after ties to allegedly anti-LGBT+ church earn him the title ‘worst Chris’

Josh Milton October 21, 2020
Chris Pratt received the support of countless co-stars after being dubbed the 'worst Chris' in Hollywood. (Getty/Twitter)

Chris Pratt received the support of countless co-stars after being dubbed the 'worst Chris' in Hollywood. (Getty/Twitter)

Chris Pratt was defended by a cavalcade of celebrities Tuesday evening (October 20) after reports he has links to an allegedly “anti-LGBT+” church resurfaced.

Pratt, 41, was dubbed the “worst Chris” – because every tall white guy in cinema these days is called Chris – for attending a place of worship with links to a notorious megachurch that has been accused of homophobia.

The Marvel star was first criticised for his choice of church in 2019, with Ellen Page accusing him of attending an “infamously anti-LGBT” church.

At the time Pratt denied the allegation, saying: “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.”

These claims resurfaced after Twitter was asked to choose between the four Hollywood Chrises – Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine. He was also accused of being a Trump supporter, though Pratt has said he doesn’t “feel represented by either” the Republicans or Democrats.

The furore prompted Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr, Terry Crews, to name a few, to come out and defend him.

Pratt’s wife, author Katherine Schwarzenegger, responded to the backlash in an Instagram comment on a post by E! asking: “Which Hollywood Chris is the best?”

“Is this really what we need?” she questioned.

“There’s so much going on in the world and people are struggling in so many ways. Being mean is so yesterday.”

As many of Pratt’s co-stars constellated around him, some contrasted the assembling with the “silence” that followed when actors such as Anthony Mackie, Brie Larson, Zendaya or the late Chadwick Boseman suffered racist and/or sexist abuse.

Chris Pratt denies his church hates gay people.

Chris Pratt has been outspoken about his faith, with his ties to Hillsong Church, a Pentecostal congregation founded in Australia by anti-marriage equality pastor Brian Houston, first dragged up last year.

After the star talked “about his spiritual side” with Late Show host Stephen Colbert, Ellen Page remarked: “But his church is infamously anti-LGBTQ so maybe address that too?”

Pratt is reportedly a regular at Los Angeles’ Zoe Church, a megachurch that is part of the Hillsong Family.

Hillsong, which according to US news site Vox includes Hailey and Justin Bieber, Kylie and Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez among its congregants, has faced accusations that it referred queer members to undergo gay conversion therapy, as reported by The Daily Beast.

The church has since disavowed its conversion therapy programmes, joining dozens of prominent medical organisations around the globe who have condemned the harmful and ineffective practice.

Despite this shift around 2011, Hillsong has still faced sustained criticism over its treatment of queer people.

In 2015, senior pastor Britan Houston came out against same-sex marriage and “a gay lifestyle” in a blog post he wrote in response to the news that two of his congregants were gay.

Houston wrote that he holds “to traditional Christian thought on gay lifestyles and gay marriage”.

“I do believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said, adding: “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.”

PinkNews has contacted representatives of Chris Pratt and Hillsong for comment.

More: Chriss Pratt, Ellen Page, Hillsong, mark ruffalo, Religion, Robert Downey Jr, US, zoe saldana

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