Actor Chris Pratt has issued a response to those who criticized him for attending a church that they claim is not welcoming of LGBTQ individuals. Last Friday and following Pratt’s appearance on the Stephen Colbert show, actress Ellen Page tweeted that the “Jurassic World” star’s church was “infamously anti lgbtq,” prompting something of a Twitter storm — her tweet was liked over 100,000 times.
Now, however, Pratt has spoken out on his social media platforms in an effort to set the record straight.
“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,” Pratt said in a story posted to Instagram and Facebook. “I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
In her Twitter attack, Page, who identifies as a lesbian, wrote that “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.”
In his response, however, Pratt did not bite back but instead shared his personal experience of partaking in church community — something he says has been an incredible support and blessing during the difficult periods of his life:
“Despite what the Bible says about my 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 their love and support. It is what I have seen them do for others on countless occasions regardless of sexual orientation, race, or gender,” Pratt explained.
“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,” he added. “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 judgment of their fellow man.”
Pratt also included a famous commandment spoken by Jesus Christ himself in Matthew 13:34: “I give you a new command, love one another.”
“He is a God of Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness,” Pratt concluded. “Hate has no place in my or this world.”
Pratt, who is known for attending Zoe Church in L.A. as well as Hillsong L.A. (alongside other celebrities like Justin and Hailey Bieber), is very vocal about his faith. Whether it’s posts on social media or awards show acceptance speeches, Pratt has taken many opportunities to share his love of God with others.
In 2015, the senior pastor of Hillsong, Brian Houston, said that the church does not condone homosexual activity.
“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,” he wrote on Hillsong’s website. “I recognize 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.”