14 Celebrities and the Religious Backgrounds You Didn't Know They Had

Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity—gang's all here.

Religion is the guiding force in many people's lives, and can tell you tons about their value system. Here, for your "huh!" purposes, the spiritual leanings of some of your favorite stars.

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<p><strong>Background: </strong>Hinduism</p><p>In 2010, Roberts told <em>Elle</em> that she believes in and practices Hinduism, and is a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba (a Hindu guru). </p>
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Julia Roberts

Background: Hinduism

In 2010, Roberts told Elle that she believes in and practices Hinduism, and is a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba (a Hindu guru).

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Judaism</p><p>Monroe grew up an evangelical Christian, but converted to Judaism when she married playwright Arthur Miller. After her conversion, the rabbi who facilitated her conversion <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/marilyn-monroe-was-a-sincere-convert-to-judaism-rabbi-s-letters-reveal" target="_blank">stated in a letter</a> that Monroe was excited to convert.  "She indicated that she was attracted to Judaism by being impressed with Jewish people that she knew, especially Mr. Miller. She said that she was aware of the great characters that the Jewish people had produced and that she had read selections from Albert Einstein's 'Out of My Later Years'...She indicated that she was impressed by the rationalism of Judaism—its ethical and prophetic ideals and its concept of close family life."<br></p>
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Marilyn Monroe

Background: Judaism

Monroe grew up an evangelical Christian, but converted to Judaism when she married playwright Arthur Miller. After her conversion, the rabbi who facilitated her conversion stated in a letter that Monroe was excited to convert. "She indicated that she was attracted to Judaism by being impressed with Jewish people that she knew, especially Mr. Miller. She said that she was aware of the great characters that the Jewish people had produced and that she had read selections from Albert Einstein's 'Out of My Later Years'...She indicated that she was impressed by the rationalism of Judaism—its ethical and prophetic ideals and its concept of close family life."

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Full Circle</p><p>Although first described as a "new religion", Keegan has <a href="http://music.allaccess.com/qa-with-actor-and-co-founder-of-full-circle-venice-andrew-keegan-talks-bringing-music-spirituality-and-love-to-the-community/" target="_blank">identified</a> his spiritual group (yes, he founded his very own in 2014) a "non-denominational spiritual community." </p>
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Andrew Keegan

Background: Full Circle

Although first described as a "new religion", Keegan has identified his spiritual group (yes, he founded his very own in 2014) a "non-denominational spiritual community."

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Jehovah's Witness</p><p>The Latina icon and late singer was raised Jehovah's Witness by her parents Marcella and Abraham. </p>
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Selena Quintanilla

Background: Jehovah's Witness

The Latina icon and late singer was raised Jehovah's Witness by her parents Marcella and Abraham.

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Hinduism (Hare Krishna)</p><p>The British-born comedian and actor considers himself "spiritual," and practices Hindu, often attending Hare Krishna services. </p>
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Russell Brand

Background: Hinduism (Hare Krishna)

The British-born comedian and actor considers himself "spiritual," and practices Hindu, often attending Hare Krishna services.

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Judaism with a side of Christianity</p><p>The actress was raised in a mixed household of Christianity and Judaism, with her mother taking her to synagogue on Saturdays and her father to church on Sundays. Goodwin was both baptized and had a bat mitzvah.  In 2013, Goodwin stated that she "up and left Judaism for a very long time," and that for 10 years, "there was nothing. No ritual. No tradition. No community." She <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20131119060819/http://faithinmemphis.com/2013/05/ginnifer-goodwin-comes-home-to-jewish-faith/" target="_blank">reaffirmed</a> her Jewish background by stating, "I was a Jew by birth, and now I'm a Jew by choice."</p>
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Ginnifer Goodwin

Background: Judaism with a side of Christianity

The actress was raised in a mixed household of Christianity and Judaism, with her mother taking her to synagogue on Saturdays and her father to church on Sundays. Goodwin was both baptized and had a bat mitzvah. In 2013, Goodwin stated that she "up and left Judaism for a very long time," and that for 10 years, "there was nothing. No ritual. No tradition. No community." She reaffirmed her Jewish background by stating, "I was a Jew by birth, and now I'm a Jew by choice."

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<p><strong>Background: </strong>Islam</p><p>The recording artist and actor was introduced to Islam when he was 13 by his father, who was a member of Sunni Islam. At 19, he took his shahada, the muslim declaration of faith. </p>
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Mos Def

Background: Islam

The recording artist and actor was introduced to Islam when he was 13 by his father, who was a member of Sunni Islam. At 19, he took his shahada, the muslim declaration of faith.

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Judaism</p><p>Pink was raised in Pennsylvania by a Catholic father and a Jewish mother, and has said on record that she is, indeed, Jewish. </p>
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Pink

Background: Judaism

Pink was raised in Pennsylvania by a Catholic father and a Jewish mother, and has said on record that she is, indeed, Jewish.

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Buddhism</p><p>Although raised in the Church of England, Bloom became a buddhist in 2004. He is now a full member of SGI-UK, the UK branch of Soka Gakkai International, a Buddhist association affiliated with the teachings of a Japanese Buddhist priest from the 13th century. </p>
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Orlando Bloom

Background: Buddhism

Although raised in the Church of England, Bloom became a buddhist in 2004. He is now a full member of SGI-UK, the UK branch of Soka Gakkai International, a Buddhist association affiliated with the teachings of a Japanese Buddhist priest from the 13th century.

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Buddhism</p><p>Raised as a Methodist, Gere began exploring Buddhism in his 20s, first studying Zen Buddhism for six years before switching to Tibetan Buddhism and meeting the Dalai Lama. </p>
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Richard Gere

Background: Buddhism

Raised as a Methodist, Gere began exploring Buddhism in his 20s, first studying Zen Buddhism for six years before switching to Tibetan Buddhism and meeting the Dalai Lama.

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Scientology</p><p>The actress is a Scientologist, and credits the religion with <a href="http://fusion.net/video/2977/oitnb-laura-prepon-opens-up-about-scientology/" target="_blank">helping her in life</a>. "Honestly, I've become more me."</p>
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Laura Prepon

Background: Scientology

The actress is a Scientologist, and credits the religion with helping her in life. "Honestly, I've become more me."

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<p><strong>Background: </strong>Islam</p><p>The rapper converted to Islam in the 1990s, and describes himself as a "mellow" Muslim. "I mean, what I call myself is a natural Muslim, 'cause it's just me and God. You know, going to the mosque, the ritual and the tradition, it's just not in me to do. So I don't do it," he told <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2000/feb/25/icecube" target="_blank">The Guardian</a> in 2000.</p>
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Ice Cube

Background: Islam

The rapper converted to Islam in the 1990s, and describes himself as a "mellow" Muslim. "I mean, what I call myself is a natural Muslim, 'cause it's just me and God. You know, going to the mosque, the ritual and the tradition, it's just not in me to do. So I don't do it," he told The Guardian in 2000.

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<p><strong>Background:</strong> Scientology</p><p>Christensen was raised by her parents as a Scientologist, after they became Scientologists in their 20s. "If I had to sum it up, the goal of Scientology is giving the person back to themselves," she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/erika-christensen-defends-scientology_n_2496701.html" target="_blank">said in 2013</a>.</p>
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Erika Christensen

Background: Scientology

Christensen was raised by her parents as a Scientologist, after they became Scientologists in their 20s. "If I had to sum it up, the goal of Scientology is giving the person back to themselves," she said in 2013.

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<p><strong>Background: </strong>Pentecostal Christian</p><p>Many know that Katy Perry grew up in a conservative household, but many *don't* know that she even sang for a Christian record label under her real name, Katy Hudson. She later told us that she had come out from her traditional <a href="http://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity/a8596/katy-perry-interview-january-cover/" target="_blank">Christian beliefs</a>: "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."</p>
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Katy Perry

Background: Pentecostal Christian

Many know that Katy Perry grew up in a conservative household, but many *don't* know that she even sang for a Christian record label under her real name, Katy Hudson. She later told us that she had come out from her traditional Christian beliefs: "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."

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