Disney Star Defends Decision to Be Baptized at Church That Practices Conversion Therapy

High School Musical The Musical The Series Joshua Bassett
Credit: Disney

Earlier this month, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Joshua Bassett shared a very emotional post with fans, letting him know that he had found religion and found God. The 22-year-old actor and singer has been through many difficult situations in his life and has been open about his mental health journey. In 2022, he also admitted that he nearly lost his life when he experienced stress-induced heart failure and septic shock not long after the release of his 2021 song “Lie Lie Lie”.

black and white photo of joshua bassett disney channel

Credit: Joshua Bassett Instagram

Fans were very supportive of the actor’s announcement about finding and loving God. Some were concerned, as Bassett has never shared that kind of message on social media before. However, he assured them that he was fine and looking forward to his new religious path. He shared that he was at peace and went on to tell stories about different situations that he had experienced that affirmed his newfound faith.

joshua bassett high school musical the musical the series

Credit: D23

Unfortunately, just a few weeks later, Bassett found — who plays Ricky Bowen in the show — himself in hot water with some of those same fans. On February 13, Bassett shared that he had taken another step in his religious journey by being baptized at Bethel Church in California. Bassett shared a video of himself talking to a preacher about how he ran away from Christianity, but now loves Jesus Christ and God.

Shortly after the video was shared on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, fans called him out for his choice of church. Mainly focusing on the fact that the church has been vocal in its support of conversion therapy.

hey josh this church promotes conversion therapy and is extremely questionable. happy for you for finding something you believe in but please do more research. your queer fans are counting on you to promote the right ideals here.

Conversion therapy has long been a controversial practice utilized by a lot of religious communities to turn LGBTQ+ people into heterosexual individuals. This is done by sometimes using extreme measures like food deprivation, intense prayer sessions, beatings, electroshock therapy, and — in very extreme cases — exorcism.

Not long after his post started making the rounds, Bassett went on Instagram to share that, although he was baptized at Bethel church, he was unaware of all of its beliefs, and he did not endorse them all.

i visited this church and happened to get baptized here- i was unaware of some of their policies and beliefs, and do not endorse all of them.
my heart is for Christ and Christ alone!
Joshua Bassett Instagram

Credit: Joshua Bassett

Bassett is currently working on filming season four of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, which is expected to premiere sometime in the summer of 2023. Seasons one through three of HSMTMTS are available to stream on Disney+.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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