Marilyn Monroe was raised in Christian Science, a religion based on the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science & Health With Key to the Scriptures," which teaches that Jesus Christ's way of healing is available to all people, as his actions were the practical demonstration of a spiritual power.
Children of God
Phoenix's parents were members of the Christian Children of God cult as missionaries before Joaquin or his brother River were born. Children of God was known to encourage its members to use sex to attract potential converts, and was accused on several occasions of child abuse. The Phoenix family left Children of God when Joaquin was 6 years old.
American singer Jennifer Lopez was raised Catholic but became a Scientologist with former husband Marc Anthony. It has been reported that the two split due to a misunderstanding on which religion their twins would be brought up with. Lopez wanted to send the children to a private Scientology School, but Anthony disagreed.
Spears was raised in the Southern Baptist Convention. She became involved with Kabbalah in the late 90's when the religion become trendy among fellow Hollywood performers. In 2006, after the birth of her first child, Spears gave a public statement saying she no longer studied Kabbalah, and that "[her] baby was [her] religion." Currently, It's been reported that the singer is back to practicing Baptism.
"There doesn't need to be a God for me. There's something in people that's spiritual, that's godlike. I don't feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don't really know if it's better to just not believe in anything, either."
Katy Perry, the daughter of extremely devout parents, began singing in her family's church. After graduating high school and continuing to pursue a career in music, the singer signed her first record deal with Red Hill records, a Christian music label.
Kidman was brought up a Roman Catholic. She attended Mary Mackillop Chapel in North Sydney, and during her divorce with Tom Cruise the actress admitted that she did not want her children to be raised in Scientology.
Open to all religious beliefs
Singer Ricky Martin was raised Catholic while growing up in his hometown San Juan in Puerto Rico. Martin has declared that he is especially close to the Buddhist philosophy, but that he does not identify himself as a Buddhist and that he is open to all sorts of religious beliefs.
Actress and singer Jessica Simpson is the daughter of a Baptist minister. As a child, she began singing for her local Baptist Church. After she was famous she stressed her religion in the public eye by announcing she would remain a virgin until marrying her then-boyfriend Nick Lachey. She even wrote the song, "Sweetest Sin," about her first time with Lachey for after they were married.
Cruise became involved with Scientology in 1990 through his first wife, Mimi Rogers. Since then, he's become an outspoken advocate for the Church of Scientology and has promoted several programs that induce people to the religion as well as campaigned for Europeans to recognize the church.
Stephen Baldwin was raised Catholic along with brothers Alec, William and Daniel but became a Born-Again Christian after the 9/11 attacks. Becoming a Born-Again Christian means to be "re-born" in the Christian community though baptism. Baldwin got baptized was month after the attacks and founded the Breakthrough Ministry that same year.
The pop star found Kabbalah, a mystical denomination of Judaism, in the mid-90s when she was pregnant. Since then, she's donated millions to Kabbalah causes and even planned to open a girls' school in Malawi until the plan soured in early 2011.
The Beatles traveled to northern India after developing an interest in Indian music. The next year, Harrison fully embraced Hare Krishna, maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle and following Hindu scriptures. He kept his faith until his death in 2001.
Ben Kingsley was raised by religiously diverse parents. His father was Muslim and his mother was of Jewish descent. Kingsley decided not to follow either of his family's religious traditions, choosing, instead, to adopt the Quaker religion.
Elisabeth Moss, an adherent of Scientology, filed for divorce from her husband of 10 months, Fred Armisen, in September 2010. It is widely accepted that Moss' ties to Scientology encouraged the split.
Venus and Serena Williams follow the religion of their mother. Both tennis stars are Jehovah's Witnesses. When asked whether she would vote for President Barack Obama in 2008, Serena said, "I'm a Jehovah's Witness, so I don't get involved in politics. We stay neutral. We don't vote," she said. "So I'm not going to necessarily go out and vote for him. I would if it wasn't for my religion.
The Twin Peaks director has practiced TM since 1976 and recently established the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, which aims to bring TM to students.
Mila Kunis, in reference to her religion, is quoted as saying, "Well I was in Russia. I wasn't allowed to be religious. My whole family was in the Holocaust. My grandparents passed [away] and not many survived. After the Holocaust in Russia, you were not allowed to be religious. So my parents raised me to know I was Jewish. You know who you are inside."
Julia Roberts converted to Hinduism while filming the movie "Eat, Pray, Love." She has expressed the desire to be reincarnated into 'something quiet' after dealing with the lavish and stressful celebrity lifestyle.
Russell Simmons credits his religion, God, hard work, dedication, resilience and focus with helping him succeed. He practices yoga sutras and credits yoga for dramatically changing his life.
Justin Bieber does not shy away from talking about religion. When asked, he has spoken about his stance on abortion, of which he is against, and relates to his mother's faith. She is a Born Again Christian.
Shohreh Aghdashloo is an Iranian American actress. She was cast as Elizabeth, cousin of the Virgin Mary, in the biblical film "The Nativity Story." She humorously acknowledges the irony that she, a Muslim, was playing a Jewish character.
The Superman actor jointed the Unitarian church around the age of 50. "I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us. It may be God, I don't know. But I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do. The Unitarian believes that God is good, and believes that God believes that man is good. Inherently. The Unitarian God is not a God of vengeance. And that is something I can appreciate."
The Passion of the Christ actor is a devout Catholic. "Jesus is there for us in the Scriptures. How often do we ignore Him? We must shake off this indifference. Only the Faith and the wisdom of the Church can save us, but it requires men and women, warriors ready to risk their good names, even their very lives to stand up for the truth."
This Oscar-winning English actress became a member of the Society of Friends after attending a Quaker school. "Quaker Meetings are entirely to do with everybody else... passing things round... communing with other people. Theatre is live communication with other people."
Islam “I’m a private person, but I’m certainly not ashamed of what I believe. To not speak about my faith for fear of reprisal would be terrible. If people are uncomfortable with my Islam, they should check themselves.”
The actress told Scientology's magazine, Celebrity: "I intend to make Scientology as accessible to as many people as I can." She said it's her "duty to clear the planet," by helping people get rid of negative thoughts and emotions.
Mel Gibson belongs to a Catholic sect that does not accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. "Vatican II corrupted the institution of the church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia."
Beliefs and Definitions
"Agnostic" in normal usage today means "don't know" or having an open mind about religious belief, especially the existence of God. It can also mean something much firmer: that nothing is known, or can possibly be known, about God or supernatural phenomena, and that it is wrong to claim otherwise. That is the original meaning of the word, and 19th century "agnostics" lived their lives atheistically in practice - that is, without any reference to any concepts of gods or the supernatural.
"Atheist" includes those who reject a belief in the existence of God or gods and those who simply choose to live without God or gods. Along with this will usually go disbelief in the soul, an afterlife, and all other religious beliefs.
"Freethinker" is used of those who reject authority and tradition in matters of all belief, including religious belief, preferring to think for themselves. It was a very popular term in the 19th century and is still used in some European countries by non-religious organisations to describe themselves.
"Humanist" is used today to mean those who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs. A humanist may embrace all or most of the other approaches introduced here, and in addition humanists believe that moral values follow on from human nature and experience in some way. Humanists base their moral principles on reason (which leads them to reject the idea of any supernatural agency), on shared human values and respect for others. They believe that people should work together to improve the quality of life for all and make it more equitable. Humanism is a full philosophy, "life stance" or worldview, rather than being about one aspect of religion, knowledge, or politics.
"Non-religious" – as well as those who are uninterested in religion or who reject it, this category may include the vague or unaffiliated, those who are only nominally or culturally affiliated to a religious tradition, and the superstitious.
"Rationalist" in this context, describing a non-religious belief, means someone who prioritises the use of reason and considers reason crucial in investigating and understanding the world. Rationalists usually reject religion on the grounds that it is unreasonable. (Rationalism is in contradistinction to fideism – positions which rely on or advocate "faith" in some degree).
"Skeptic" today usually means someone who doubts the truth of religious and other supernatural or "paranormal" beliefs, typically on rationalist grounds. ('Skeptic' also has a special philosophical meaning: someone who rejects or is skeptical with regard to all claims to knowledge).
"Secularists" believe that laws and public institutions (for example, the education system) should be neutral as between alternative religions and beliefs. Almost all humanists are secularists, but religious believers may also take a secularist position which calls for freedom of belief, including the right to change belief and not to believe. Secularists seek to ensure that persons and organisations are neither privileged nor disadvantaged by virtue of their religion or lack of it. They believe secular laws – those that apply to all citizens – should be the product of a democratic process, and should not be determined, or unduly influenced, by religious leaders or religious texts. The word "secularism" was once used to describe a non-religious worldview generally but this meaning is now very old fashioned.