Many people think that when it comes to religion, Latinos are exclusively Catholic. We, of course, know better. Have you ever wondered about the religious beliefs of some of your favorite Latino celebs? Whether they’re Christian, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, atheist or somewhere in between (and yes, there are a few of those too!), we’ve got you covered.
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Megastar Jennifer Lopez grew up in a Catholic family. More recently, though, the Puerto Rican has changed her tune to convert to Scientology, which also happens to be the church her father has been a member of for the past twenty years. “At the end of the day,” states Lopez, “it’s all about being, like, a good person – centered, focused and at peace.”
Do you know what religion former Cheetah Girl Adrienne Bailon was raised in? “I was raised Pentecostal, like, old school,” admitted The Real co-host at the 2013 Alma awards in a Latina exclusive. Speaking of religion, check out the actress in her newest venture, I’m in Love with a Church Girl, which is set to be released this month!
It probably comes as no surprise that Sofia Vergara grew up in a strict Catholic household. While she still believes in God, the Colombian actress doesn’t take her faith quite as seriously as her parents. “I don’t think God cares if I wear nail polish or not. I don’t think that’s a deal breaker for him,” the Modern Family star said humorously of her spirituality mixing with her style choices.
Fashion designer and television personality Nicole Richie has been traditionally tight lipped when it comes to her religion. Regardless of this fact, people say that you are the company you keep and, if that statement holds true, Richie could be one very religious Latina! Richie has been surrounded by several religious people throughout her life like her adoptive father, Lionel Richie. Her husband, Joel Madden, is also Christian, and the two were married by the spirited Pentecostal minister Rev Run of Run DMC fame.
Anyone who has been following the recent career, or lack thereof, of David Archuleta won’t be surprised to discover that the singer is a devout Mormon. In fact, he’s so dutiful to his faith that he’s taking two years off from music to perform missionary work for his church! The former American Idol runner-up told fans about his leave of absence, “It’s not because someone told me I was supposed to do it and not because I no longer want to do music anymore. It’s because it’s what I feel I need to do next in my life.”
Actress Jessica Alba has had problems with religion in the past. The Sin City star grew up Catholic but later turned to Evangelicalism. This would not be the last time she switched religions, though. Alba expressed uneasiness about the way men at her church treated her stating, “Older men would hit on me and my youth pastor said it was because I was wearing provocative clothing, when I wasn’t. It just made me feel like if I was in any way desirable to the opposite sex, that it was my fault, and it made me ashamed of my body and of being a woman.” As a result of these experiences, the mother of two now simply considers herself spiritual.
Though judge Bruno Tonioli once called him a “Catholic boy” during his stint on Dancing With the Stars, William Levy didn’t convert to Catholicism until his late-20s. He had a Jewish grandfather, but the sexy Cuban grew up in a non-religious household.
Like many Latinos, Javier Bardem was raised in a Catholic household, but the actor admits that he never really felt a connection to the religion. Presently an atheist, Bardem now prescribes to a different belief system once mentioning, “I don’t believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino.”
Like many Latino stars, Michelle Rodriguez grew up in a strict, religious household, but it might not be the religion that you expect. The actress was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. Rodriguez claims to have lived a sheltered life as a child as a result of her faith, and has since seemed to move on from the “intense religion.”
Selena Gomez was raised in a Catholic household, though she doesn’t seem to tink her family has too many specifically religious traditions. “We do everything that’s Catholic, but we don’t really have anything traditional except go to the park and have barbeques on Sundays after Church,” the Mexican beauty stated.
Mexican cutie Mario Lopez is one Catholic star who has continued to nurture his faith since childhood. “I am from a big, loud Mexican Catholic family,” the former Saved by the Bell hunk claims. He attends church weekly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t things he would change about the Catholic Church if he were given the chance.
Fergie is another Latina celeb raised in a strict Catholic family, but the Black Eyed Peas singer didn’t always follow the path her family laid out for her when it came to religion. During her battle with addiction Fergie fell away from the church, but she also credits God for her ability to recover from her bad habit. She and her hubby Josh Duhamel were married in a Catholic ceremony and they continue to attend mass.
Carlos Santana’s religious path has proved a bit more experimental than that of other celebs. Raised Catholic, Santana and his wife eventually began following the teachings of an Indian Guru named Sri Chinmoy. Never one to adhere to any faith that proved too preachy, the singer took on a broader view of spirituality saying, “I have crystallized all my religion into no religion—into spirituality. Religion is finely designed to divide and separate; spirituality brings unity and forgiveness and compassion.” He plans to retire from music to be a minister in Hawaii.
Tejano singing legend Selena Quintanilla shared the same religion as another Latina on this list. Can you guess whom? If you’re a Selena fan you probably know that this Latina was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.
While she grew up a devout Catholic, Salma Hayek has since given up on organized religion though she still believes in God. There was lots of talk when daughter Valentina was born because the actress admitted she would not be baptizing her child.
Spanish tennis pro Rafael Nadal grew up in a Catholic household, but he continues to wonder about the existence of God. For this reason, Nadal tends to be more agnostic when it comes to religion. “I would love to know if God exists,” Nadal said. “But it’s a very difficult thing for me to believe. I don’t know.”
Singer Mariah Carey finds comfort in God in times of need, but she doesn’t go on and on about religion for the world to see. “I feel the difference when I don’t have my private moments to pray,” Carey admitted. The Latina crooner is Episcopalian, and her first marriage was performed at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City.
Hollywood youngster Bella Thorne is bringing religion to the younger set. This devout Christian churchgoer has no problem letting her fans and critics know where she stands when it comes to faith. What’s more, the actress often uses Twitter to talk religion. Though Thorne tweets religious phrases, she’s never judgmental. “My beliefs may not be the same as other people in my church of even in my family.”
Remember that time Gisele Bundchen sent out an email asking family and friends to pray for her husband, Tom Brady, to win the superbowl? The Brazilian bombshell is Catholic and married her “good Catholic” hubby in a traditional Catholic ceremony. Don’t think that she’s 100% traditional, though. Bundchen has spoken out against what she feels are antiquated ideals the Catholic Church continues to hold regarding birth control and abortion.
Hot father Mark Consuelos is taking his Catholic upbringing and teaching it to his children. He and wife Kelly Ripa try and attend church regularly and say their prayers to God nightly.
Actress Alexis Bledel isn’t known for being vocal about her religious beliefs. Regardless of where she falls when it comes to God, the former Gilmore Girls star was certainly exposed to a plethora of religions as a child. “I went to a Baptist school, a Lutheran school, a Catholic school and we lived in a Jewish neighborhood.” The Latina actress stated.
Cote de Pablo
Since her strict Catholic upbringing, Cote de Pablo has ventured down a different path when it comes to faith. Though she refuses to put a religion-specific label on her beliefs, they do involve reincarnation. Now we want to know what the former NCIS actress thinks she will come back as in her next life!
She has a large cross tattoo and plays a lesbian on television, so we wondered what religious beliefs stunning Glee star Naya Rivera has. Though the actress is Christian, she feels faith is quite personal and doesn’t want to be judged, “…you feel like you need to tread lightly when you say, ‘Yes, I do go to church and I read the Bible,’ because once you do that people will be like, ‘Why are her boobs out? Why is her midriff showing? Why is she playing a lesbian?’” We would never judge you, Naya!
The greatly missed star Jenni Rivera had faith in God. When she performed in less than safe areas riddled with violence, Rivera would pray that she would arrive home safe. She grew up in a Catholic household, and she was always dedicated to trying to be the best Christian that she could, even when things got difficult.
Like many of the other Latinos on this list, supermodel Adriana Lima was raised a devout Catholic. Unlike many of the other Latinos on this list, Lima remains a devout Catholic to this day adhering to the values of the Catholic Church in her every day life. Lima goes to church every week, wears a scapular and abstained from sex until she was married.
With her hot soccer playing lover and the cutest baby known to man, Shakira must be feeling pretty blessed these days. It wasn’t always that way, though, for the Latina songstress. She was raised Catholic, but after a string of romantic failures, Shakira recently stated that for a while she felt as though she had lost faith, “I was becoming…agnostic. And it was really hard, because I was always very religious, and for a few years, maybe because—it sounds so corny—I was not feeling the love like it was supposed to be, I started to think that there was no God. And suddenly I meet Gerard [Pique] and the sun comes out.”
Despite any backlash he’s received from the Catholic Church since coming out as gay, singer Ricky Martin has stuck by the religion he was brought up with. “I am a very spiritual man and my God doesn’t make mistakes,” Martin stated. “I have a really cool connection with that beautiful light up there that is constantly reassuring who I am and telling me, ‘You are an awesome person.’”
Actress Eva Mendes was once so devoted to her Catholic faith that she considered joining the convent! Things certainly have changed for Mendes when it comes to her beliefs. The talented Latina has left her Catholic ways behind and opted instead for a form of Hinduism known as Transcendental Meditation. About her beliefs Mendes has said, “[It] helps me deal with life’s ups and downs, coming from more of a centered place. Also, it helps with creativity.”
She was raised Catholic in Cuba, and she was the first ever female pop star to perform for a Pope, but that doesn’t mean Gloria Estefan is still a follower of the Catholic faith. The singing sensation doesn’t buy into the politics of the Catholic Church and isn’t a fan of the dogma. “She had her religion,” Estefan said of her mother about getting through difficult times, “and I had my music.”
Believe it or not, the "Beautiful" singer was raised Mormon. Her parents reportedly met at Brigham Young University, a private Mormon university in Utah.
The Cuban cantante was raised Catholic, but she has talked about loving all religions.
The Mighty Ducks actor was raised as a Southern Baptist.