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Erika Christensen on Scientology: People Assume We Worship Rabbits

USMagazine, Thursday, January 17, 2013, 7:30am (PST)
  • Erika Christensen is the latest Hollywood star to clear the air about Scientology.

    The 30-year-old actress -- a lifelong member of the Church of Scientology -- chatted with her "Parenthood" co-star Joy Bryant about the controversial religion in a recent interview on Bryant's "Across the Board" Web series, poking fun at some of the public's misconceptions.

    "[People assume] we're some kind of closed group and we're just the Hollywood religion and we worship rabbits," joked the actress of the faith practiced by Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Beck and other stars. "I don't actually know how many people think that."

    PHOTOS: Celebrities who are Scientologists

    Christensen explained that she was raised in the church by her Scientology parents, Kathy and Steven Christensen, and has no issue with introducing her future children to the religion's practices. Watch "Across the Board" by clicking here.

    "I would expose to them ... this is what I do, which is how my parents did it, because my parents are Scientologists," she said. "When I was seven, they did this demonstration. There is this thing in Scientology, it's a study method to demonstrate things out."

    "I would give them the option of, like, these are our study tools," she continued. "You can use them in school, get good grades, learn."

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    Though Scientology has often been characterized as a cult-like religion, the actress explained that for her, following its practices has always been more about the individual than the group.

    "If I had to sum it up, the goal of Scientology is giving the person back to themselves," she told Bryant. "Like, your own power of choice."

    In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cruise's ex-wife Nicole Kidman spoke briefly about her children with Cruise, Connor and Isabella, and their decision to accept the religion.

    PHOTOS: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's ill-fated romance

    "I've chosen not to speak publicly about Scientology," she told the magazine. "I have two children [adopted with Cruise] who are Scientologists -- Connor [the Red Dawn actor is now 17] and Isabella [20] -- and I utterly respect their beliefs." (Catholic-born Kidman, who is now married to country singer Keith Urban and has two young daughters, no longer follows the faith).

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