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Like many Americans, numerous celebrities were born and raised in Christian households. Tons of A-list celebrities got their start in church choir, went to Catholic schools, or had religious parents. There are great examples of celebrities who took their Christian upbringing with them to Hollywood. These celebrities love to share Jesus with their fans frequently and are open about their beliefs.

However, there are many celebrities that have decided to go against their Christian beliefs. While they were raised Christian, something changed during their life that caused them to distance themselves greatly from the Christian religion. These celebrities have denounced Jesus Christ as their savior and aren’t afraid to let their fans, the media, and the world know. Though once Christian, these celebrities have left the faith for one reason or another and are now practicing other forms of spirituality. These eight celebrities have been open about their changed beliefs.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry was raised in a strict, evangelical Christian household. Katy’s father was a preacher, so the family spent a majority of their time in church. Growing up, Katy was on track to become a gospel singer and spent time in Nashville to record a gospel album. This quickly changed with Katy moved to Los Angeles at seventeen to pursue a career in show business. She quickly rose to fame in 2008 with her song “I Kissed a Girl” which generated a lot of controversy. Since then, Katy has been open about her distain for the Christian faith, saying in a 2013 interview with Marie Claire, “I don't believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne. I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable." Her parents, though upset she left the faith, ask fellow Christians to not judge Katy, but instead pray for her.

Anne Rice

Anne Rice, author of Interview with a Vampire and other top novels, was raised in a strong Catholic family but became agnostic as a young adult. In the mid-2000s, after a very publicized return to Catholicism, Rice began writing Christian literature including Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. Several years later, Rice distanced herself yet again from organized Christianity, citing disagreement with the Church’s stances on social issues. In 2010, she posted on her Facebook page, “Today, I quit being Christian… It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group." Through the years she stated she still was committed to Christ, but not in the way He is presented by Christianity.

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin was raised in a Catholic home, but first began to develop a dislike for organized religion during her years at St. Bernadine’s Elementary School because of punishments she and other students received from the nuns. Griffin’s departure from Catholicism officially occurred in high school, and has since called the Catholic Church “stupid.” At the 2007 Emmy Awards ceremony, Griffin made headlines with her acceptance speech where she said, “A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus! This award is my God now!” This insulted Christians everywhere, so much so that her comments were edited out of the televised broadcast.

Connie Britton

Connie Britton was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, in a devoutly Southern Baptist family. Her upbringing instilled strong values and a deep sense of faith in her, which would later play a major role in her life. Britton’s early years may have been shaped by her Southern Baptist upbringing, but over time, her beliefs evolved to a stance of agnosticism. She’s spoken candidly about her spirituality search and her journey toward exploring and questioning different perspectives. By embracing agnosticism, Britton has found a sense of freedom and liberation, allowing herself to grow as an artist and an individual.

Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews was born in South Africa. After high school, he moved to the U.S. to avoid mandatory service in the South African Army. In 1986, he moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where he started to hone his musical talents by singing on stage and playing guitar. He formed the Dave Matthews Band in 1991 along with LeRoi Moore, Carter Beauford, Peter Griesar, Boyd Tinsley, and Steffan Lessard. Matthews was raised in the Quaker faith but lost his faith in his teen after struggling with the idea that most of his loved ones would end up in hell. In a 2001 Boston Globe article, he said, “It would be safe to say that I’m agnostic.” He elaborated on his beliefs in a 2009 Q TV, saying, “I can’t believe, in any way, in a god that cares about me. That makes no sense to me, a god who’s watching me and hoping that I make the right choices. That god is impossible.”

Carmen Electra

Carmen Electra, whose real name is Tara Leigh Patrick, was born in 1972 in Sharonville, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. Raised in a musical family by her father, Harry, an accomplished guitarist and her mother, Patricia, a singer, she was the youngest of six siblings. This environment fostered her passion for dancing and singing at an early age, making the path for her future entertainment industry career. Despite her artistic childhood, her upbringing wasn’t without obstacles. In her mid-20s, Electra endured the tragic loss of her sister and mother in the same year, losses that significantly influenced her life’s trajectory. Electra was raised in a Christian household, but her personal beliefs align more with agnosticism, a perspective that claims the existence of a divine entity or higher power is unconfirmable.

Richard Gere

Richard Gere is an actor. He started appearing in movies in the 1970s. He played a supporting role in “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” and a leading role in “Days of Heaven.” He rose to fame with his role in “American Gigolo,” which established him as a leading man. His other films include “Pretty Woman,” “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “No Mercy,” and “The Cotton Club.” Gere was raised Methodist in Syracuse, New York, but his interest in Buddhism started in his 20s. He initially studied Zen Buddhism under Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, but after studying Zen for about five or six years, he and Brazilian painter Sylvia Martins traveled to Nepal in 1978, where he met several Tibetan lamas and monks. Then, he met the 14th Dalai Lama in India and became a practicing Tibetan Buddhist and an active supporter of the Dalai Lama.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears is a singer often called the “Princess of Pop.” She’s credited with influencing the resurgence of teen pop in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She’s sold over 150 million records worldwide, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Spears has earned several accolades and awards, including a Grammy, 15 Guinness world records, and the inaugural Radio Disney Icon Award. Born in the Bible Belt, Spears was baptized as a Southern Baptist and sang in the church choir as a child. However, she studied Kabbalist teachings and announced that she’d converted to Catholicism in 2021. In 2022, after her ex-husband and youngest son did an interview defending her father’s actions during her conservatorship, Spears said she “didn’t believe in God anymore” because of how her family treated her.

Staying a Christian in Hollywood would be hard, but many celebrities have been able to do so. But for whatever reasons, these celebrities felt it was right to leave their Christian faith and find spirituality and religion elsewhere. These celebrities have publicly denounced their faith in Christ, but we hope they are able to find the Lord someday again.

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