Chris Pratt is defending himself after being accused by actress Ellen Page of attending a church that is, according to Page, “infamously anti-LGBTQ.”
Pratt addressed Page’s claims Monday on Instagram, saying that his church is welcoming to all people.
“It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which 'hates a certain group of people' and is 'infamously anti-LGBTQ,'” wrote Pratt. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
The Christian actor, whose most recent film is “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”, went on to describe the support he received from his church during his divorce from actress Anna Faris last year.
"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,” Pratt said. “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.”
According to the New York Times, Pratt attends Zoe Church, which was modeled after the megachurch Hillsong. Hillsong originated in Australia but also has locations in New York and Los Angeles and, according to Variety, Pratt has also attended Hillsong.
Pratt went on to say that although "faith is important" to him "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," he continued. "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’s Instagram post finished with a description of how his faith in God helps him navigate his life.
“Jesus said, ‘I give you a new command, love one another,'" he wrote. "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.”
Ellen Page’s criticism of Pratt and his church came as the result of Pratt’s Thursday appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” During the interview, Pratt described being religious and completing a 21-day fast based on the Biblical prophet Daniel.
Page tweeted a link to a Hollywood Reporter article about the interview, along with her accusation that Pratt’s church is anti-LGBTQ. The actress herself came out as gay during a speech at a conference for the Human Rights Campaign in Las Vegas in 2014.
“Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?” the actress tweeted.
Saturday, Page doubled down on her earlier remarks.
“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,” the actress tweeted.“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all.”
In another tweet, Page went on:“If lgbtq+ people are expressing their pain, their trauma, their experiences … maybe just try and listen? Open your heart, stop being defensive and have compassion. It’s a beautiful and life changing feeling, empathy. Much love truly to all.”
Brian Houston is the senior pastor at Hillsong. In 2015, Houston said in a statement that Hillsong does “not affirm a gay lifestyle.”
“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,” Houston wrote in a post on the church’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.”
Houston added that he loves and accepts “people on a personal level.”
“Everyone is welcome at Hillsong church except for known predators, those who are disruptive, or those who have adversarial agendas,” he wrote, adding that while gay people are welcome to attend the church, they are not permitted to hold a leadership role.