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Russell Brand details his search for meaning in Christian faith while awaiting outcome of investigation into allegations

by Premier Journalist

The actor and comedian Russell Brand has published a video of himself on social media, explaining why he wears a cross and his exploration of the Christian faith.

Brand is facing accusations from several women of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse, which he denies.  The claims came to light late last year in a joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times, and Channel 4.

He was questioned by London police in November 2023 and interviewed by them again, under caution, in December concerning what the Met said was a total of nine alleged offences.  Several broadcasters and media channels have dropped his work since the allegations came to light.

Although Brand doesn’t reference the accusations directly in the 90-second film, he alludes to the challenge associated with them, saying:

“The reason I wear a cross is because Christianity, and in particular the figure of Christ are - it seems to me - inevitably becoming more important, as I become more familiar with suffering; purpose; self; and ‘not self’.”

The avant-garde presenter, who is married with three children, has previously spoken about his search for meaning and spiritual truth.  He says in the short video that he’s been reading his Bible a lot more, and studying the best-selling, ‘Purpose Driven Life’, by American pastor Rick Warren.

He continues his monologue with brief comedic impressions of the church, drawn from his experience of those with lots of ceremony and liturgy versus ones with a much more modern approach, neither of which he says seemed a suitable fit for him.

“For me, it seems that it's taken quite a lot to recognise that you need I need a personal relationship with God,” said the entertainer, who is known to have suffered from mental health challenges in the past, including bipolar disorder and bulimia, “it occurred to me that if instead of always talking to myself, inwardly, I could replace one of those voices with an indwelling God.”

He then paraphrases a verse from the New Testament about dying to self, saying: “It says in Galatians, it is our job to die so that as Christ died on the cross, he might be reborn in us.”

He finishes by inviting viewers to comment and respond, saying, “I'm very interested to hear what you think because, for me, my heart is open.”

Many have taken to X (formerly Twitter), where the video was reposted, to share their own experiences of coming to faith:

One user shared:

“After 30 years of staunch aetheism, I became a catholic. Ive no idea what called me to do so, but my life, and especially my mental health, has gotten immeasurably better ever since.”

Another shared a reading recommendation:

“As someone who was raised Catholic, went away from the Church then came back… this fills me with joy… Please read St Thomas Aquinas. It will make a lot of sense to you.

When I realized you could prove that there is a God by reason, it changed my life.

As for all the stuffy chanting…once you get there, you will see it is the deeper magic…

God bless you and your family.”

Some of the allegations against Brand date back 20 years. He has admitted leading a promiscuous lifestyle but has consistently and strongly denied the accusations, saying his relationships were “always, absolutely consensual”.

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