by Aaron Barksdale: Holy Hollywood…
“The Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik recently told Fox News that “Hollywood is not friendly to people of faith.” Yet some religious celebrities have been open about their convictions — some for better and some for worse (we’re looking at you, Mel Gibson).
Here are 25 celebrities who have talked about their religious leanings in one way or another.
Michael Tran via Getty Images
West talked about his faith in an interview with Kris Jenner in 2013. “I’m a Christian, and I wanted to let people know that that’s what’s on my mind,” said West. “It’s important to me that I grow, and walk, and raise my family with Christian values.”
Jenny Anderson via Getty Images
In 2013, the “Cool For The Summer” singer opened up to Life & Style about her beliefs, telling the magazine: “I think over the past few years it’s been less about religion to me, but more about my own personal relationship with God.”
Fairfax Media via Getty Images
In 2000, the “Straight Out Of Compton” rapper spoke with The Guardian about his faith after his conversion to Islam in the 1990s. “I mean, what I call myself is a natural Muslim, ’cause it’s just me and God,” Ice Cube said at the time.
Kevin Winter via Getty Images
“The Hunger Games” series star shared some aspects of her religious upbringing in Louisville, KY in a 2012 interview with Marie Claire. “In the South it’s very normal. It would be weird for me to go to sleep without praying,” Lawrence said.
Gaffigan spoke with The Washington Post
about his character on his eponymous Comedy Central Show and his own personal experiences with his Catholic faith. “The message is: He believes in God, it’s not that big of a deal,” said Gaffigan. “When we were kids it didn’t matter if someone was religious, it just mattered if they were annoying.”
Larry French via Getty Images
Oprah has been very candid about the differences she sees between her spirituality and her Christian religion. In 2015 Winfrey went to Stanford University to speak on spiritual practice. “I’m not telling you what to believe or who to believe, or what to call it,” said Winfrey. “But there is no full life, no fulfilled or meaningful, sustainably joyful life without a connection to the spirit.”
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
Stephen Colbert may be a funny man on-screen but off-screen he takes his religious convictions seriously. In 2012, Colbert told The New York Times about his mother’s influence on his faith. “She taught me to be grateful for my life regardless of what that entailed,” Colbert said. “And that’s directly related to the image of Christ on the cross and the example of sacrifice that he gave us.”
Andreas Rentz via Getty Images
The star of ‘The Mindy Project’ and ‘The Office’ has spoken openly about her practice of Hinduism. In an a 2011 live chat with Jezebel, Kaling shared her cultural and religious experiences. “I do consider myself Hindu,” said Kaling, “I wrote an ‘Office’ episode about the Hindu holiday Diwali.”
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images
Dave Chappelle’s decision to leave “The Chappelle Show” for a religious pilgrimage to South Africa in 2005 seemed odd to many. But in a 2005 interview with TIME Chappelle’s reasoning was clear as was his dedication to Islam. “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,” Chapelle said. “And I believe it’s beautiful religion if you learn it the right way.”
Samir Hussein via Getty Images
The “Like A Prayer”
star has never been one to shy away from controversy, especially when it comes to her expressions of faith and her art. In August, Madonna spoke with Entertainment Weekly
about her new music exploring the relationship between sexuality and religion. “I’m very immersed in deconstructing the concept of sexuality and religion and how it’s not supposed to go together,” she said.
Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images
In a 2009 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on how his films’ religious messages have influenced people, he said, “I’ve seen lots of people who don’t go to church, who have no concept of God, who have never really thought about it, begin to change their lives because of something that was said in the film or something the character invited them to see.”
Kevin Winter via Getty Images
“The Office” star has been forthcoming about his experience as both an actor and a spiritual man of the Baha’i faith. In a 2015 conversation with HuffPost Live’s Ricy Camilleri, Wilson talked about his artistic and spiritual journeys as one. “I think that being an artist is one of the highest forms of spirituality you can do, because you are being of service to people,” he said.
YE AUNG THU via Getty Images
People magazine asked Angelina Jolie what she learned about spirituality from the filming of her 2014 film “Unbroken”, which was inspired by the late war-hero Louis Zamperini. “I don’t know if there’s a name for that — religion or faith — just that there’s something greater than all of us, and it’s uniting and beautiful,” Jolie said.
Target Presse Agentur Gmbh via Getty Images
In a 2013 interview with Parade Magazine, Mark Wahlberg credited his faith for his achievements in Hollywood. “It’s the most important part of my life,” he said. “I don’t try to push it on anybody and I don’t try to hide it.
Anthony Harvey via Getty Images
The British actor spoke with Jim Wallis of Sojourners
about how Christianity influenced his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Selma”. “I always knew that in order to play Dr. King, I had to have God flow through me because when you see Dr. King giving those speeches, you see that he is moving in his anointing,” Oyelowo said.
Mireya Acierto via Getty Images
The legendary singer has been practicing Buddhism since the 70’s
and in 2010 released a spiritual album with a collection of Buddhist and Christian prayers. “My rock shows did the same as what my spiritual music does now,” Turner said
. “It is about the right word and the right way to do it.”
Tommaso Boddi via Getty Images
Brad Barket/BET via Getty Images
Denzel Washington has been very open in discussing his beliefs, and, in 2012, he told GQ Magazine, “I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word.”
The Washington Post via Getty Images
Baldwin, who calls himself a born-again Christian, spoke with Fox News
on the roles he lost because he was considered too religious. “I have no regret about that, but I have chilled out a lot more because I’m a little more seasoned as a Christian believer,” he said.
Leon Bennett via Getty Images
The former Destiny’s Child singer focused on a solo gospel singing career in 2002. Williams has had many successful hits, including 2014’s “Say Yes”, a collaboration with former girl-group members Beyonce and Kelly Rowland.
Grant Lamos IV via Getty Images
Alice Cooper has been a devout Christian since he gave up drinking, according to an interview with CNS News. “Before, you’re always self-centered, everything is always for you, yourself is God,” Cooper said on the difference his faith has made in his life. “Humans make lousy gods, we have to let God be God and us be what we are.”
Foc Kan via Getty Images
In a 2013 interview with Elle Magazine, the actor discussed his relationship to Buddhism. When the magazine asked him to share a Buddhist tenet about men and women, Bloom said, “The goal of men and the world should be to make all mothers happy.”
TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images
Lakshmi was raised as a Hindu. In a 2006 interview with The Guardian she discussed her former atheism and return to her childhood religion. “Now that I’m grown up, though, I’m not hard-edged enough to be an atheist,” Lakshmi said. “I love going to temple. I love all the rituals.”
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Seagal discussed his Buddhist practices in a 1997 Frontline interview. “For me, in Buddhism there are specific teachings that address a lot of the tremendous hardships and dilemmas and poisons that we face in modern day society,” Seagal told PBS.