Idris Elba was born in the Hackney area of London, England in 1972 to a father from Sierra Leone and a mother from Ghana. England and Ghana are mainly Christian countries, while Sierra Leone is mostly populated with Muslims. What religion is Idris Elba?
Idris Elba does not claim any religion but does state that he is spiritual. He is part of 16% of the world’s population who do not have a religion. This does not make him secular, which is the absence of religion, it’s just that he doesn’t choose one religion over the other.
Growing up with a Muslim father and a Christian mother probably gave Elba a unique look at two very different religions, perhaps leaving him with questions or confusion. Perhaps he did not want to choose one of the other for fear of upsetting the other parent. He has not spoken out against religion.
According to Merriam-Webster, leaders in definitions since 1828, religious is defined as “relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity”. For Jewish and Christians that is God, for Muslims it is Muhammad.
Still, others may feel that, to them, religion is something different altogether. Not all belief systems revolve around a deity, for some, it is just enough to have faith in faith itself, while not looking too deeply into the origin of that faith.
There is no right or wrong way to be religious or a Christian. Idris Elba is currently married to wife number three, and all of his weddings were Christian affairs, so some may feel that he belongs to the Christian religion.
Since he states that he is not religious, but spiritual, he falls under the category of Irreligion more than he does Christian, even if he does share in some beliefs and practices that Christians do.
Irreligion is the “active rejection of either religion in general or any of its more specific organized forms.” There are about twelve types of Irreligion:
- Secular humanism
- “Spiritual but not religious”
- Theological noncognitivism
- Agnostic atheism
The Czech Republic is the country with the highest population of people who are non-religious. About 53% of Elba’s home country reports being non-religious.
Many people claim to be spiritual, but not religious. What does that mean exactly? One definition of spirituality is “The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”
Both Religion and Spirituality can mean different things to different people. And, you can be one and not the other, or you can be both or neither. It’s a complex world when you get right down to it.
In a broader sense of meaning, Religion is often thought of as outward and worldly, while Spirituality is more inward and self-focused, without necessarily holding a deity on high.
Idris Elba has done some terrific fundraising work and is a Goodwill Ambassador, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t also done some things that all religions would look down upon. His colorful use of language is one, though not the worst as he’s also sold drugs previously.
Elba admits to having drive drunk previously, and though he was stopped by a cop, he was able to get out of the ticket as he was coming off a DJ gig and on the way to the hospital for the birth of one of his children.
Some might also say that the way he speaks of women is not very acceptable either. The article I’m mostly referring to was written in 2013 so I’m hopeful that he’s grown up a bit since then and isn’t tone-deaf to the world around him in this era.
The actor appears to be a good man, and whatever he believes in, the universe knows his heart and the deeds he’s done and I think he’s going to be just fine.