The Most Spiritual Celebrities in Hollywood Might Surprise You
by Jennifer Lafferty
With a few obvious exceptions, we don’t hear a lot about celebrities’ religious faith. The entertainment industry is notorious for greed, promiscuity, drug abuse and other scandalous behavior, creating an environment that doesn’t exactly promote spirituality. But there are many celebs who make religion a priority and fans might be surprised to find out which stars are the most religious.
Comedians don’t usually talk seriously about religion, like devoted Muslim Dave Chappelle, who said in 2005: “I don’t normally talk about my religion publicly because I don’t want people to associate me and my flaws with this beautiful thing.”
Jennifer Lawrence credits her southern upbringing in Louisville, KY for her religious traditions, telling Marie Claire: “In the South it’s very normal. It would be weird for me to go to sleep without praying.”
One of the most openly religious stars in Hollywood is well-known Scientologist Tom Cruise, whose close association with the controversial church is the source of almost as much publicity for Cruise as his films.
In 2012 Denzel Washington was asked by GQ about the code he lives by, and the actor, whose father was a Pentecostal minister, revealed that he reads the Bible every day, along with Daily World.
Since Christianity changed his life in the 1980s, actor Kirk Cameron of Growing Pains fame has devoted his career almost exclusively to faith-based projects like the Left Behind film series and more recently Saving Christmas.
TV star Mindy Kaling, whose parents were both from India, has spoken publicly about her religion, saying that she considers herself a Hindu. Kaling once wrote an episode of The Office around the Hindu holiday Diwali.
Many celebrities have embraced Buddhism, including long-time Buddhist Richard Gere, who co-founded the Tibet House in 1987, and devotes a large portion of his time to studying his faith and working for the Tibetan freedom cause.
John Travolta is one of the most high profile stars belonging to the Church of Scientology. Travolta has been a Scientologist since 1975 and credits the religion for helping him get his big break on Welcome Back Kotter.
Angus T. Jones
Former Two and a Half Men co-star Angus T. Jones felt so strongly about his religious beliefs as a Seventh-Day Adventist that he publicly criticized the show’s immoral content, calling it “filth” in 2012, shortly before exiting the series.
Patricia Heaton considers herself a Catholic, although she mainly attends Presbyterian church. The devoutly religious star of The Middle has been outspoken about her faith and claims that her religious beliefs have cost her acting jobs.
There aren’t a lot of stars who would put everything on hold just as their career was taking off, but David Archuleta took a two-year hiatus in 2012 to do missionary work in South America.
In 2010 Buddhist Tina Turner released the spiritual album Beyond. The album features Buddhist and Christian prayers and chanting. Turner said: “The experience of singing prayers together allows us to deeply connect on a emotional level…”
Another outspoken Christian who claims he’s faced descrimination in Hollywood because of religion is Stephen Baldwin. However, he does work steadily and was proud to star in the 2013 faith-based film I’m in Love With a Church Girl.
According to Mayim Bialik, who minored in Hebrew and Judaic studies, it’s very difficult to be an observant Jew in Hollywood, but the actress says: “When you’re a person of faith, it stays with you all the time.”