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‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson: ‘I’m a Christian Simply Because of What Jesus Calls Us to Do’

‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson: ‘I’m a Christian Simply Because of What Jesus Calls Us to Do’

In a new profile with The Hollywood Reporter, Alan Ritchson, the star of Amazon Prime’s Reacher, spoke candidly on his experience in the entertainment industry, his mental health, and most notably, his faith.

“I’m a Christian quite simply because of what Jesus calls us to do: Love other people until death,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re all to be hung on a cross, but how can I suffer for you? That is a beautiful thing.”

Ritchson hasn’t been hiding his faith by any means. He’s active on InstaChurch, his YouTube channel where he posts videos exploring the Bible and how it relates to daily life and his work. He started the channel two years ago as a way to combat the rhetoric he saw from other Christians that frustrated him, particularly when it comes to politics.

“Christians today have become the most vitriolic tribe,” he said. “It is so antithetical to what Jesus was calling us to be and to do.”

He also shared that he’s been upset with Christians who have so closely aligned themselves with former President Donald Trump.

“Trump is a rapist and a con man, and yet the entire Christian Church seems to be treat him like he’s their poster child and it’s unreal,” he said. “I don’t understand it.”

He’s not too happy with the Catholic Church, which he was raised in, either.

“It’s worth saying that the atrocities that are happening in the Church that are being actively covered up, even to this day with people not being held accountable, is repulsive,” he said. “I can’t for one second support the Catholic Church while there are still cardinals, bishops and priests being passed around with known pedophilic tendencies.”

Ritchson was heavily involved in church activities at a young age. He attended daily mass, was an altar boy and even served as the president of his youth group.

As he grew older, however, he faded away from his faith while pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. After a series of setbacks, mixed with years of sexual abuse he endured on a variety of sets, Ritchson reached a breaking point at 36 and attempted to take his life. He was able to stop himself from fully going through with it, but afterwards, he began seeking help and contemplating what he wanted his life to look like moving forward. Ultimately, he found that answer by turning to God.

“I came out of that whole thing asking myself, ‘OK, if I am going to choose to be alive here — a decision we all make, some to a greater degree than others — what am I doing? Why am I here?’” he said. “What I kept falling back on was the meaning and purpose of life as someone who believes that there is a creator and we are created beings, our purpose in life is, without qualification, to make the world a better place and serve others. That is what life is all about.”

Since then, Ritchson has been outspoken on his faith, both through personal channels like InstaChurch and being selective about the roles he takes. Earlier this year, he starred opposite Hilary Swank in the faith-based film Ordinary Angels. He’s hoping Hollywood executives take notice of the growing market for Christian movies and that people are hungry for stories that promote positive messages.

“The fact that people are hearing the name of Christ in movie theaters is a powerful thing,” Ritchson said. “And if that’s where the pulpit is for people who wouldn’t normally step foot in a church, then that’s still a great way to have that conversation. It matters that these films get supported.”

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