Christianity is the saving grace for millions of people all over the world. There is no denying that for many individuals their religion is a big and positive part of their lives. Unfortunately, faith also has a way to pervert the facts and lead to hatred in many people. We have collected a list of so-called Christians who have stolen, attacked, and even murdered people in the name of their faith. Some of the people on our list claim to work for the values of their church while others have simply claimed to be god fearing people who haven’t lived up to the tenements of their religious faith. Be prepared to cringe and be ready to question the sanity of every person on this list.
Fred Phelps, Sr.
Fred Phelps, Sr. was arguably one of the biggest hypocrites of them all. As the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, the pastor and his followers would picket military funerals, gay pride events, and concerts to spread their words of hatred. While he passed away on March 19, 2014, his family still runs the church.
Roman Catholic priest Charles Coughlin was one of the first political leaders to use the radio to express their views. Unfortunately, he would spend his time praising Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. With 30 million listeners a week, he would get flooded with a plethora of complaints. Due to new regulations placed by the Roosevelt administration, his show would eventually get canceled. On October 27, 1979, he passed away at the age of 88.
As a youth, Jim Jones had a strong interest in religion. In 1955, he founded his own religious movement titled the Peoples Temple. Unfortunately, this movement led to the mass suicide of over 900 of his followers in what is known as the Jonestown Massacre. On November 18, 1978, Jones died from a self inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
Cult leader Marshall Applewhite founded the religious group Heaven’s Gate, which followed the theory that aliens would take them away from Earth. Followers of the group went through severe life transformations in order to get accepted; a handful of male members went through castration because of it. On March 22, 1997, 39 of its members, including Applewhite himself, committed mass suicide in order to find their way onto a spaceship following Comet Haleâ€“Bopp.
Paul Jennings Hill
Paul Jennings Hill was a minister for both the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and he had a strong stance against abortions. On July 29, 1994, he went to an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida and killed a clinic doctor and his bodyguard. He was arrested, and on September 3, 2003, he was executed via lethal injection.
Reverend Michael Bray is a strong opposer of abortion clinics, and in 1985, he was convicted of trying to blow up several women’s health clinics with unregistered explosive devices. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail, but he only served 46 months through a plea bargain. He is now considered a terrorist in the United States.
For decades, Pat Robertson has been one of the most outspoken members in Christianity. Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina, he stated that it was God punishing America for its abortion policy. In 1976, he predicted that the world would end in 1982. In response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, he claimed that the founders of the country made a pact to the Devil and the earthquake was the end result.
After having an affair with a 15 year old girl, David Koresh, whose real name is Vernon Howell, claimed to have become a born-again Christian, and he also claimed to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. He became the leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect. After numerous talks of Koresh sexually abusing children spread like wildfire, the ATF raided his headquarters in Mount Carmel Center, but they were unsuccessful. The Hostage Rescue Team took over and attempted to negotiate with Koresh via telephone. The standoff, which lasted 51 days, ended when the building caught on fire. Koresh was killed by his partner Steve Schneider. Overall, 80 Branch Davidians perished in the incident.
Sun Myung Moon
Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who is the founder of the Unification Church, somehow convinced a plethora of people that he was the second coming of Jesus Christ. His statements that the Holocaust victims were paying the price for the death of Jesus drew a massive amount of criticism. On September 3, 2012, the leader passed away from pneumonia. His children currently run the church.
Evangelist Harold Camping will forever be known as the guy that made a massive amount of skeptical people believe the world was going to end in 2011. The rapture was a huge hoax, but he managed to quietly walk away with $80 million from his followers. On December 15, 2013, Camping passed away at the age of 92.
Even though R. Kelly is one of the biggest selling R&B acts of all time, his constant claims of his own Christianity has been questioned several times over the years. The Chicago native married 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994, and then there was the whole incident with him urinating on an underage girl.
Hall of Fame football star Lawrence Taylor has been through a lot in his career. While he managed to stay away from the partying lifestyle and preached the word of the church, he was arrested for having sex with an underage girl in 2010. He would be sentenced to six years probation and register as a level one sex offender.
Three-time Pro Bowler Tiki Barber regularly preached his love of religion and had a loving relationship with his first wife and University of Virginia sweetheart Virgina Cha Barber. Unfortunately, things went sour very quickly, and the former football star left his wife for Traci Lynn Johnson, who was an intern at “The Today Show.” Eight days after the divorce was final, Barber got married to Johnson.
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had the best life imaginable until he was arrested for the death of football player Odin Lloyd. While he thought his relationship with God would get him out of the situation, the Connecticut native is spending life in prison without any chance of parole.
Michael Vick has always had a close relationship with God, but that didn’t stop him from conducting a dog fighting ring on his property. The four-time Pro Bowler would serve 21 months in jail and serve two months in home confinement. He would also have to file for bankruptcy. He has claimed in recent years to finally practicing what he preaches.
While devoted Christian Mel Gibson had a ton of criticism for his work on “The Passion of the Christ,” that was nothing compared to his recorded phone call with his ex Oksana Grigorieva back in 2010. Gibson’s movie career took a complete nosedive because of the released audio which included a disturbing anti-Semitic rant.
Soul singer James Brown has had a life filled with troubles. While he is considered one of the biggest soul acts of all time, his constant arrests for domestic violence, his drug abuse, and his numerous illegitimate children were getting more publicity than his music. The artist would pass away from pneumonia at the age of 73 on December 25, 2006.
Boxer Manny Pacquiao is a strong Christian, and while he does support LGBT activism, he isn’t a fan on gay marriage. Stating that folks in same-sex marriages are worst than animals didn’t really help his image. Nike would later drop the athlete because of his words. Manny didn’t stop there. Quickly after being dropped, he uploaded an Instagram photo with quotes from Leviticus 20:13, which basically states that males engaging in homosexual acts should be put to death.
In 1998, Charlie Sheen announced that he was a born-again Christian after years of some hard partying. That all fell apart quickly the following year with a drug overdose. The “Two and a Half Men” star has been all over the place with some questionable behavior over the years. He recently announced that he had contracted HIV.
Placing Christian articles in a porno magazine is probably not something that should be done, but for Hustler founder Larry Flynt, who was a born again Christian in 1977, that was the situation at hand. Obviously, this move angered a plethora of religious leaders. After a near-fatal shooting in 1978 that left him paralyzed, he became an atheist.
Preacher Joel Osteen has come under heavy criticism over virtually everything. His promotion of prosperity theology, which states that good Christians shall have increased wealth, has been shunned by a vast majority of religious leaders. There are some out there that call him a false prophet, and with his net worth of $56 million, there are plenty that believe that he’s just in it for the money.
Little Richard grew up in a Christian household, but the Georgia native went to the dark side on several occasions. He would spend up to $1,000 a day on his cocaine and heroin addiction, and he was arrested for spying inside a men’s bathroom at a Long Beach bus station. A few months before his mother passed away in 1984, he swore to remain a Christian.
Devoted Christian Tyler Perry is best known for creating the character Madea, which has spawned a successful movie franchise. In 2014, the New Orleans native fathered a child out of wedlock with his girlfriend Gelila Bekele. As one could expect, this news upset a plethora of his Christian fans worldwide.
Stephen Collins is best known for portraying Reverend Eric Camden on the hit TV series “7th Heaven.” In 2014, the actor, who is a member of the Episcopal Church, admitted to sexually abusing three underage girls in the past. This revelation forced a handful of local networks to pull the plug on reruns of the show.
Political activist and devoted Christian Josh Duggar is best known for starring in the reality series “19 Kids and Counting,” which follows the Duggar family and their 19 children. In 2015, it was revealed that Duggar molested five girls between 2002 and 2003. Four of those victims were his own siblings. His parents tried to cover up the incident, but after it was released to the public, TLC pulled the plug on the show.
Rapper Chris Brown is probably known more for his consistent run ins with the law than his music. The Virginia native, who went to church every day as a kid, got into severe trouble with his 2009 assault on singer Rihanna, which led to him getting five years probation. In 2013, he was arrested for a felony assault in Washington, D.C. and was forced to spend time in jail.
Katt Williams believes that God runs the world, but that’s not going to stop the comedian from pulling off some heinous stuff in his career. He’s been arrested for carrying a stolen gun in his briefcase, stealing a camera from a photographer, and attacking a 17-year-old kid.
In a 2007 interview with New York Post, Suge Knight talked about accepting God into his life. Unfortunately, his old habits still became a strong factor in his life with constant arrests and altercations over the years. In 2015, he was involved in a hit and run that killed Heavyweight Records co-founder Terry Carter.
Rush Limbaugh has been delivering his views on his radio show for decades, but a lot of his words, including those slandering African Americans and feminists, have found the Missouri native shunned from sections of the United Methodist Church. The Rush Limbaugh Show is heard by 13 million people a week.
In 2012, rapper DMX devoted his life to becoming a pastor. The following years found the artist, who is best known for the songs “Party Up (Up In Here)” and “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” arrested numerous times for robbery, failing to pay child support, missing a court hearing, and driving under the influence.