What Religion Is Tom Hanks? A Comprehensive Look at the Religious Views of Hollywood’s Everyman

Tom Hanks is one of the most beloved and well-known actors in Hollywood. He has starred in countless hit films over his decades-long career, including Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan, and many more. Hanks is admired not just for his acting talent, but also for being an all-around nice guy.

But what does Hanks believe when it comes to faith and religion? Throughout his life, Hanks has been relatively quiet about his personal religious beliefs. However, there are some clues that point to Hanks likely being a non-denominational Christian with an interest in various faiths.

Tom Hanks’ Upbringing and Early Life

Hanks was born in 1956 in Concord, California and had a tumultuous childhood. His parents divorced when Hanks was 5 years old and he was raised by his father, who was a cook. Hanks’ family moved frequently due to his father’s job. By the time Hanks was 10, he had lived in 10 different houses.

Religion did not play a major role in Hanks’ early life. In an interview with The Guardian, Hanks said:

“We were just kids. We went to church on Sunday because there were donuts. I was raised Catholic but the concept fell apart for me at the age of 12.”

So while Hanks was exposed to Catholicism as a child, the religion did not stick. As a teenager and young adult launching his acting career, Hanks did not identify with any particular organized religion.

Hanks’ Current Religious Views

As an adult, Hanks no longer identifies as Catholic or with any single organized religion. However, he has made occasional references to believing in God or a higher power.

In a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, Hanks said:

“I must say that when I was very young, I had a very conventional upbringing in the Greek Orthodox Church but after a while, that fell to the wayside and I have not been involved in organized religion for many years.”

This quote indicates that Hanks moved away from organized religion as he got older. He seems to take a more open-minded, spiritual approach rather than adhering to the doctrine of a specific faith.

Hanks has also mentioned believing in some kind of higher power. In a 2020 interview with The Guardian, he said:

“I still have a very conventional idea about God. I know statistics about human nature and tendencies. I know how many people will survive a disaster. I think those numbers are too coincidental to be accidental. Beyond that, I have no idea how we got here.”

While not wanting to define or name his faith precisely, Hanks expresses a belief that some divine force, which he refers to broadly as “God,” exists behind the random chaos of the universe.

Hanks’ Interest in Religion and Spirituality

Though not claiming a particular religion, Hanks has demonstrated an intellectual fascination with religious history and human spirituality.

In a 2009 interview with Christianity Today, Hanks said:

“I’m interested in the history of religion. Personally, I’m fascinated by the power of faith and the construction of meaning and significance that can come through faith, and the mystery [of it].”

Hanks has studied the Bible extensively for movie roles like Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code. He told Vanity Fair he considers the Bible “one of the great books written.”

For the movie Angels and Demons, Hanks researched Catholicism and the Vatican. He told Christianity Today:

“Angels and Demons is rooted in both history and scientific fact; it poses questions about politics, religion, science, faith and their role in our evolving world.”

Hanks seems open to exploring humanity’s myriad of religious traditions. Though not aligned with any particular theology, he appreciates religion’s impact on culture and its efforts to grapple with life’s big questions.

Hanks’ Personal Values and philosophies

Rather than adhering to any established belief system, Hanks forms his own philosophies about life shaped by his personal experiences.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Hanks said:

“I’ve fashioned my own little philosophy about how and what I think the human experience is all about. But I don’t have a categorised, standardised philosophy.”

Several overarching values seem important in how Hanks approaches life:

Kindness and empathy – Hanks is known for advocating for kindness. He told Entertainment Tonight: “I think the world either happens the way it happens or doesn’t… the vast majority of us do the best that we can. There’s no harm in that.”

Personal growth – Persevering through challenges has shaped Hanks’ outlook. He told Vanity Fair: “I’ve made it this far. How did that happen? I made mistakes, and I learned from them.” He values using obstacles as opportunities for growth.

Living with purpose – Hanks strives to live meaningfully. He told IndieWire: “In order to live a creative life, you have to be the master of your own routine.” He aims to make his days purposeful.

Though not claiming any faith, Hanks cultivates his own set of philosophies for living morally and meaningfully. He finds guidance from within more than from any external source.

Tom Hanks’ Upbringing and Early Life

  • Born in 1956 in Concord, California
  • Parents divorced when he was 5 years old
  • Raised by his father, a cook
  • Moved frequently due to father’s job
  • Lived in 10 different houses by age 10
  • Religion did not play a major role in early life
  • Was raised Catholic but it “fell apart” by age 12

Hanks’ Current Religious Views

  • No longer identifies as Catholic
  • Does not follow any single organized religion
  • Has occasionally mentioned believing in God or higher power
  • Takes spiritual rather than doctrinal approach to faith
  • Appreciates Bible as meaningful text but not literal
  • Expresses awe at universe’s complexity implying “God” exists
  • Open to existence of divine force behind life’s chaos

Hanks’ Interest in Religion and Spirituality

  • Finds religious history and human spirituality fascinating
  • Studied Bible extensively for movies like The Da Vinci Code
  • Researched Catholicism and Vatican for Angels and Demons
  • Appreciates religion’s cultural impact and existential questions
  • Values learning about humanity’s diverse faith traditions
  • Does not align with any theology but open-minded to exploring

Hanks’ Personal Values and Philosophies

  • Advocates for kindness and empathy toward others
  • Believes in persevering through challenges and obstacles
  • Focuses on continual personal growth and self-improvement
  • Strives to live purposefully and make the most of each day
  • Looks inward for guidance on living morally and meaningfully
  • Develops own wisdom rather than adopting external belief system


In summary, Tom Hanks was raised Catholic but walked away from organized religion as he got older. Today he does not adhere to any specific faith, but remains open-minded and thoughtful about theological questions. Hanks seems to believe in some higher power and has constructed a personal philosophy focused on values like kindness, growth, and living with purpose.

Though not aligned with any institution, he appreciates religion’s significance in human civilization. Hanks’ worldview has been shaped by his acting experiences, interest in history and literature, and the personal challenges he has overcome. He exemplifies openness to and fascination with humanity’s diverse expressions of meaning and faith.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hanks was raised Catholic but abandoned organized religion as a young man
  • He does not currently identify with any single faith tradition
  • Hanks believes in a higher power but is not dogmatic in his views
  • He remains intellectually curious about religion and human spirituality
  • Hanks cultivates his own wisdom and philosophy focused on kindness and purpose
  • His worldview has evolved through acting, education, and life experiences

Frequently Asked Questions about Tom Hanks’ Religion

What religion was Tom Hanks raised as?

Tom Hanks was raised as a Catholic when he was a child. His parents took him to a Greek Orthodox Church. However, Hanks stopped identifying as Catholic around 12 years old.

Is Tom Hanks an atheist?

No, Tom Hanks does not identify as an atheist. He has mentioned in several interviews believing in God or a higher power at work in the universe. He does not align with organized religion but does seem to believe in some divine force.

What church does Tom Hanks go to?

Tom Hanks does not regularly attend any particular church. He moved away from organized religion as a young man and follows his own spiritual path outside of any specific faith institution.

What religion is Tom Hanks now?

Tom Hanks does not identify with any organized religion currently. He has been described as non-denominational or unaffiliated Christian with an interest in various faiths. Hanks follows his own personal philosophies shaped by his acting career, educational experiences, and moral values.

What are Tom Hanks’ beliefs?

Some of Tom Hanks’ main personal beliefs seem to be: kindness and empathy toward others, perseverance through challenges, continual learning and growth, living purposefully and meaningfully, belief in a higher power or God behind creation. He values morality and justice. Though not part of an organized religion, he remains fascinated by theological questions.

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