Jenna Ortega is a young American actress who has recently risen to fame for her roles in popular TV shows and movies. Despite her youth, Ortega has already built an impressive acting resume. However, less is known about her personal life, including her religious beliefs.
Jenna Marie Ortega was born on September 27, 2002 in Coachella Valley, California. She was raised in a lower-middle class household by her mother Natalie Ortega, who is of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent. Her father is also believed to be of Latino heritage.
From an early age, Jenna showed a passion for acting and began auditioning for commercials and TV shows. When she was 8 years old, she landed her first gig acting in the TV series Rob. This marked the beginning of her acting career.
Over the next few years, Ortega steadily booked small roles in shows like CSI: NY, Southland, and Days of Our Lives. Her first recurring TV role came in 2012 when she was cast as young Jane on Jane the Virgin. This breakout part helped introduce Ortega to a wider audience.
Since then, Ortega has starred in a number of popular movies and shows. Some highlights include the Disney Channel movie Invisible Sister, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, You, and most recently Wednesday on Netflix. Her acclaimed performance as the eponymous character in Wednesday has cemented her status as one of the most in-demand young actresses currently working.
Despite her early success and fame, Ortega has revealed little about her personal life. This includes which religion, if any, she belongs to or identifies with. The following sections will examine the clues about what Ortega’s religious beliefs might be.
Evidence Pointing to Catholic Upbringing
Although Ortega herself has not explicitly discussed her religion, some evidence suggests she was raised Catholic or at least exposed to Catholic traditions. Here are a few reasons why:
- Ortega’s mother is believed to come from a Mexican and Puerto Rican Catholic background. People from these cultures are predominantly Catholic. It’s likely that Ortega’s mother raised her children with some Catholic traditions.
- In several interviews, Ortega has mentioned celebrating Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter with her family. These are important holidays in the Catholic faith.
- The name Jenna is a variant of Jennifer which means “white wave” or “fair phantom” in Old English. Jenna is considered a Christian name and is popular among Catholics of Latin American descent. This suggests Ortega received a Christian name at birth.
- Ortega had her major acting break on Jane the Virgin playing young Jane Villanueva, a practicing Catholic. It’s possible Ortega was able to understand and portray this character so well because she had exposure to the Catholic faith growing up.
- In a 2020 interview, Ortega was asked about her X-Men powers. She responded that one would be going to church then taking a nap after church since that’s what she did growing up. This indicates she attended Catholic mass regularly as a child.
While not definitive proof, these clues point to Jenna Ortega likely being raised in and familiar with the Catholic faith by her family. However, that does not necessarily mean she currently practices Catholicism openly.
Speculation that She No Longer Practices Organized Religion
Despite what appears to be a Catholic upbringing, there are also signs that Ortega may not currently identify with or actively participate in an organized religion like Catholicism. A few reasons for this speculation:
- Ortega has not made any public statements about belonging to a specific religion as an adult. She does not reference God or religious beliefs when discussing her values and worldview.
- She has not been photographed attending religious services like mass, nor has she commented about participating in Catholic sacraments recently.
- Ortega displays some moral views that contradict certain Catholic teachings. For instance, she is a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.
- There are no visible religious symbols, jewelry or tattoos commonly associated with Catholicism visible on Ortega’s body or in social media posts.
- Her dating life involves partners not known to be practicing Catholics. Co-star Cole Sprouse is believed to come from a Protestant background.
- As a rapidly rising actress in liberal Hollywood, there may be pressure on Ortega to downplay any conservative religious leanings to avoid controversy.
This lack of overt religiosity from Ortega as an adult has led many to conclude she likely identifies as spiritual but not affiliated with an organized church. This would allow her to maintain some private beliefs while also appealing to a wider fanbase.
Her Latin Heritage Remains Important
While Ortega appears to have distanced herself from institutional religion, she does seem to still take pride in her Latin cultural roots. For example:
- She has spoken fondly about growing up in a Spanish-speaking household and being bilingual.
- On social media, Ortega frequently discusses Latin food, music, and other cultural touchstones that are meaningful to her.
- She is outspoken about the need for more Latin representation in film/TV and affirms her Mexican heritage.
- Ortega remains close with her immediate and extended family, who all share her Latin background.
- She continues to work with many Latino creators as both an actress and producer.
So although Catholicism may not play a large role in her current life, Ortega still seems to value and identify with the ethnic traditions she was brought up in. Her fans appreciate that she proudly represents her community.
Ambiguous Spiritual References
On rare occasions, Jenna Ortega has made vague statements alluding to her spirituality without endorsing a specific religion or belief system. For instance:
- In one interview she stated, “I believe in something bigger than myself. I’m not sure what name to give it, but I believe in something divine.” This leaves her exact beliefs unclear.
- She once said, “Everything happens for a reason. Even terrible things teach us and help us grow.” This reflects a loose sense of faith without defining it.
- Ortega shared that she meditates daily and finds it “grounding” and “healing.” Meditation is practiced across many faiths.
- Though she celebrates Christmas, Ortega also notes the solstice is meaningful as “a representation of light overcoming darkness.” This mirrors pagan winter solstice beliefs.
- She has commented “I pray in my own way” without elaborating on how she prays or to whom/what.
Based on these types of comments, it seems Ortega has a sense of spirituality that incorporates varied religious and non-religious influences. But she prefers keeping the specifics private.
Conclusion: Likely Spiritual but Not Religious
To summarize, while Jenna Ortega was likely exposed to Catholicism as a child by her family background, she does not currently claim any one particular religion as an adult. She no longer actively participates in an organized faith community.
However, Ortega does seem to have an open-minded sense of spirituality that connects back to her Latin roots while also evolving as she matures. Ultimately, classifying her current beliefs is difficult as Ortega herself avoids labeling them.
But it appears she has moved away from institutional Catholicism toward a more personal and flexible worldview that integrates multiple perspectives. Until Ortega states otherwise, the safest conclusion is that she considers herself “spiritual but not religious.”
Frequently Asked Questions about Jenna Ortega’s Religion
Was Jenna Ortega raised Catholic?
Based on her Mexican and Puerto Rican family background along with hints she dropped in interviews, it appears Ortega was likely exposed to Catholicism and some of its traditions growing up. However, she has not explicitly confirmed she was raised strictly Catholic.
What church does Jenna Ortega go to?
Ortega has not stated that she actively attends any specific church services currently. There are no recent photographs or statements placing her at a Catholic mass or any other religious event. She seems to maintain her spirituality privately outside organized worship.
Is Jenna Ortega religious?
Ortega does not claim affiliation with any specific organized religion at this point in her life. However, she has made vague references to spiritual beliefs in a higher power and practices like meditation.
So she appears to be open to some concepts that would be considered religious without adhering to one particular theology or dogma.
Does Jenna Ortega believe in God?
The actress has not definitively stated whether or not she believes in God in the traditional Biblical sense. However, she has acknowledged feeling connected to “something bigger” and relying on her faith during difficult times.
This suggests she has some belief in a higher power or divine cosmic force, though she refrains from using the term “God” specifically.
What does Jenna Ortega identify as?
When it comes to religious identity, Ortega has shared very little other than stating she prays privately and believes in a vague higher power. She seems to resist specific labels, preferring to keep her current spiritual beliefs flexible and open to growth. Based on available information, she likely identifies as spiritual without committing fully to any organized religion.
Is Jenna Ortega an atheist?
There is no evidence that Ortega considers herself an atheist, since she has expressed believing in some sort of divinity and practices prayer/meditation. Atheism involves denying the existence of gods or spiritual forces. Ortega acknowledges spiritual concepts even if she avoids formal religious affiliation.
What spiritual practices does Jenna Ortega follow?
The actress says she maintains a daily meditation routine that she finds meaningful. She also mentions praying privately but does not elaborate on the nature of her prayers. Ortega also notes she finds wisdom and guidance by looking at spiritual themes in astrology. Overall, her spiritual practices seem to blend various contemplative tools.