Demi Lovato apologizes for raving about 'spiritual' visit to Israel, says she was offered a free trip 'in exchange for posts'
The 27-year-old 'Give Your Heart a Break' hitmaker had earlier gushed about how she felt more 'renewed' than ever before after she was baptized in the Jordan River
Demi Lovato came under fire this past week after she uploaded pictures from her trip to Israel on her Instagram, with many accusing her of taking a political stance at a time when the country has come under fire from the international community for human rights violations in neighboring Palestine.
The 27-year-old 'Give Your Heart a Break' hitmaker visited the Western Wall and Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, and gushed about how she felt more "renewed" than ever before after she was baptized in the Jordan River.
"I was raised Christian and have Jewish ancestors," she wrote in her post, where she later locked the comments after she was heavily criticized. "When I was offered an amazing opportunity to visit the places I’d read about in the Bible growing up, I said yes."
"There is something absolutely magical about Israel," she continued. "I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God…something I’ve been missing for a few years now. Spirituality is so important to me…to be baptized in the Jordan river–the same place Jesus was baptized–I’ve never felt more renewed in my life."
"This trip has been so important for my well-being, my heart, and my soul. I’m grateful for the memories made and the opportunity to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart."
Following the backlash, Lovato issued a lengthy apology via a statement on her Instagram Stories where she said she did not realize how her trip to the country would be construed.
"I'm extremely frustrated," she said. "I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts. No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone. With that being said, I'm sorry if I've hurt or offended anyone, that was no my intention."
"Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return," she continued. "This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT and now I realize it hurt people and for that I'm sorry. Sorry I'm not more educated and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience."
"I'd rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself than staying quiet to please other people," she added. "I love my fans, all of them, from all over."