Chris Pratt talks about the Los Angeles church he attends...

Chris Pratt talks about the Los Angeles church he attends in a new interview with Men's Health magazine. Credit: Getty Images / Jon Kopaloff

"Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Jurassic World" franchise star Chris Pratt is again seeking to dispel ongoing internet rumors that he belongs to an anti-LGBTQ church.

"I never went to Hillsong," Pratt, 43, says in the new issue of Men's Health, referring to the megachurch whose co-founder, Brian Houston, said in 2015, "We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle" and "does not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid."

"I've never actually been to Hillsong. I don't know anyone from that church," Pratt continued, explaining that he is member of Los Angeles' Zoe Church. Its pastor, Chad Veach, told The New York Times in 2018 that Zoe was modeled after Hillsong. Veach also was an executive producer of "The Heart of Man" (2017), a film that producer and co-writer Jason Pamer described as about "sexual brokenness — including stories of freedom from porn addiction, infidelity, same-sex attraction, sexual abuse, etc."

Pratt had never previously specified Zoe Church, and many reports since when the issue emerged in 2019 have conflated it and Hillsong. When asked why he had not named Zoe earlier, Pratt told Men's Health, "I'm gonna, like, throw a church under the bus?"

"It absolutely infuriates me," filmmaker James Gunn, of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies, told the magazine of anti-Pratt internet memes generally. "Chris is unspeakably kind to people; he goes out of his way to help kids. He's an especially loving father. And there's a lot of stuff that people have literally just made up about him — about his politics, about who he is, about what he believes of other people, you know?"

The claims that he belongs to an anti-LGBTQ church have dogged Pratt since 2019, when he appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and spoke briefly about the Daniel Diet, based on the purported diet of the Biblical prophet Daniel. "I did it through my church," Pratt told the late-night host, adding, "I was inspired by my pastor." He did not name the pastor or the church.

"Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?" tweeted transgender actor Elliot Page in response, later adding, "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. Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren't two sides. The damage it causes is severe. Full stop. Sending love to all."

Pratt in turn responded on Instagram Stories, where posts cycle out after 24 hours. According to a screen capture at multiple outlets, he wrote in part, "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. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone. … I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want[,] free from the judgment of their fellow man."

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