What is Zoe Church? A look at the controversial organization that Chris Pratt and other celebrities are part of

According to the official website of Zoe Church, it 'exists to share the hope and redemption of Jesus. Our church is a place where our doors are open to people of all backgrounds'


                            What is Zoe Church? A look at the controversial organization that Chris Pratt and other celebrities are part of
(Getty Images)

Last year, when Chris Pratt appeared on 'The Late Show', he casually name-dropped "the Daniel Fast," a 21-day diet based on the Bible, about which he learned through his pastor at Zoe Church. Well not just Chris Pratt, there are many other big names who are associated with the church.

Here are all the details you need to know about Zoe Church.

What is Zoe Church?

According to the official website of Zoe Church, it "exists to share the hope and redemption of Jesus. Our church is a place where our doors are open to people of all backgrounds." The website also reads, "While we currently aren't meeting at our ZOE locations, we can still gather in our homes. We encourage you to grab some friends you feel comfortable with for a socially-distanced Watch Party!"

Who is the founder?

Pastor Chad Veach (Getty Images)

The church was founded in 2015 by Pastor Chad Veach and Julia Veach who moved to Los Angeles from Seattle in 2014. The church is created following the megachurch Hillsong, where he used to preach. Earlier, his father used to run a church and his siblings went on to become pastors too. Veach maintains an active social media presence and has earlier told New York Times, “Instagram built our church. Isn’t that fascinating?”

How to pronounce?

According to Zoe Chruch's official website, the term "Zoe" comes from the Greek version of the word, which means "abundant life." The pronunciation is "like, be-yon-SAY," founder and pastor, Chad Veach, narrated to the New York Times. The whole intent of the church is to "infuse" this Zoe or life into people through "engaging, powerful worship and Biblical truth," a statement on the website says.

Where are the services held?

The services are held in Los Angeles, even though the first service took place at the club 1 Oak. According to Refinery 29, "There are seven different services held on Sunday, at different locations across the city: five take place at the El Rey Theatre on Wilshire, and two are held at a middle school in the San Fernando Valley. There are also plans to extend the service to East Los Angeles."

Names of member celebrities

Justin Bieber, Chris Pratt, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Hailey Baldwin, Ashley Benson, Maria Shriver, Selena Gomez have all supported Zoe Church. Kourtney Kardashian also currently follows Veach on Instagram.

Controversy

In 2019, when Ellan Page slammed Pratt for supporting Zoe, several concerns about the church's stand on the LGBTQ community and issues related to it came forward. Calling himself, a "Bible guy", in an interview with New York Times, when asked about abortion rights. "Maybe, just what we grew up in, it’s, like, you don’t bring politics into church. We’re here to preach the good news. We’re here to bring hope to humanity. We’re here to talk about God. This is not the place for a political agenda," he said.

In a 2014 interview, with the Christian Post, he said he lets Jesus deal with it. (You might recall that Hillsong's leader, Brian Houston, infamously said: "We do not affirm a gay lifestyle.") However, in 2017, Veach served as the executive producer for a film about people who "have struggled with 'sexual brokenness,'" which included "same-sex attraction."

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