The Real Reason Kanye West Doesn’t Believe in Religion

Every week, Kanye West hosts Sunday services for his celebrity friends. But even though he enjoys the service and discussion of God, West insists that he doesn’t believe in religion. How can he lead a faith service without religion? The answer is actually incredibly rational and thought-provoking. 

Why doesn’t Kanye West believe in religion? 

Kanye West
Kanye West | PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

West’s Sunday services are pretty exclusive. In fact, if you manage to score an invite, you’ll have to sign an NDA. Since we can’t attend one of West’s services, we’ll have to look elsewhere to learn more about his thoughts on religion. We’ll have to go way back to 2009, back to before he married Kim Kardashian, when he preferred the name Yeezy. In an archived interview with Bossip, West gave some interesting thoughts, starting with his ideas about choice. The interviewer asked about a previous quote where West said he didn’t believe in religion. 

“I believe in God,” West said. “Christianity wasn’t an option when I was growing up, it was the only thing. It wasn’t like I was given the decision at the time.”

He explained that we have a choice in almost every other aspect of our lives. We get to choose our careers and our hobbies. But religion is just handed to us by our parents. You’re born a Jew or Muslim or Christian, and you’re expected to follow suit. 

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Northie and her friend enjoying Sunday service ❤️

A post shared by North West (@___north.west___) on

“I feel like religion is more about separation and judgment than bringing people together and understanding,” West continued. “That’s all I’m about. I’m about accepting people for who they are.”

West insists he respects people from all over the world and every culture. He admires people who embrace their true selves. But as far as religion, West rejects titles or having to be tied down to any particular way of thought. 

“I would never go into a religion,” he said. “I guess my religion is just what I do religiously when I wake up in the morning.”

Kanye West doesn’t believe in hell

Not everyone in West’s life agrees with his way of thought. Especially his Christian parents.

When he was younger, West’s father worried about his son ending up in hell. Instead, his father wanted the whole family to be together in the afterlife. But West tried to steer him into a different way of thinking. West told Bossip about a conversation that took place when he was only 20 years old. 

“I don’t believe in this everybody’s going to hell thing; everyone who isn’t a Christian is in the wrong,” West told his father. “His [West’s father’s] response at that time was, ‘Well I’d hate to see you not spend eternity with me and burn in the depths of hell.’ I was like well hell, I don’t want that to happen, so let me set up this insurance plan and just do this.”

West said that now, after a lot of discussions, his father is more open-minded. 

Kanye West won’t hand his life over to Jesus

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North at Sunday service yesterday ❤️

A post shared by North West (@___north.west___) on

Along with Christianity, West has some untraditional ideas about Jesus, but for a very good reason.

“I believe in Jesus as an icon,” he said, but he rejects the idea of handing his life over to Jesus. “I feel I need to take responsibility for my own successes and failures.”

West explained that he sees so many people just “giving their lives to Jesus” and then refusing to take any action or responsibility for their life. Instead, they believe Jesus will handle everything for them, and West refuses to do that. 

Even with his words against organized religion, West admitted that Christianity will always be a part of who he is. Just like his hometown of Chicago, West said he’ll always have “a little hood” in him, and he’ll always have parts of Christianity as well. Like calling something a blessing, or saying amen, and prayers, West feels those small habits will always be a part of him. “Just because it’s what I know,” he said.

But he would never persecute someone for their religion or lack of religion. Instead, West appreciates the open exchange of ideas. He respects everyone’s ideas, no matter how crazy, or if he really disagrees.

“I’m just like, man, that’s dope for you,” West said. 

The crux of West’s ideas seems to be about learning to live and let live. And that’s something that many of us can get behind.