Irina Shayk's Religious Heritage Has Affected Her Life Greatly

Fans worldwide know Irina Shayk for her countless modeling gigs, but what are her beliefs outside of work? Details on her religion.

Chris Barilla - Author

Jun. 10 2021, Published 11:57 a.m. ET

Irina Shayk
Source: Getty Images

Throughout her time as one of the biggest models on the planet, Irina Shayk has represented brands from Marc Jacobs to Givenchy in their campaigns and has become world-famous for her work. Most recently, Irina has been romantically linked to Kanye West, even further fueling the curiosity into who she is beyond the catwalk.

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However, for as much success as Irina enjoys now, she endured equal if not harder trials and tribulations to get to the place that she is today. And as it turns out, religion played a part in the evolution of her career.

So, what is Irina's religion, and what do we know about the effect it has had on her life? Keep reading to find out!

Irina Shayk
Source: Getty Images
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What is Irina Shayk's religion? It has caused her some difficulties in the past.

Although Irina has always been a bit vague regarding the details of her religious past, she has addressed it on a few occasions throughout her career. The supermodel originally hails from the small Russian village of Yemanzhelinsk, a former mining town that has since dealt largely with poverty and post-Soviet fallout. Her family was very poor and her father died of lung issues when she was young. Nonetheless, Irina had dreams to escape her environment and make a name for herself.

The problem? Her heritage. Indeed, Irina's full last name is Shaykhlislamova, which derives from the Tatar ethnic group, a Russian minority with a large population of Islam followers thanks to mass conversion in the 8th century. Although she hasn't ever expressed that she follows the religion, Irina said the fact that her last name appeared Muslim made acquiring a U.S. visa difficult initially.

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"It turned out that Americans are very scared of everything related to Islam. I managed to get a visa only a year later," she recalled, per The Daily Mail.

Although acquiring a visa was a huge setback, Irina eventually made her way to America and broke onto the modeling scene stateside via her 2007 Sports Illustrated cover shoot.

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Although Irina may not follow the traditional set of guidelines set forth by the Muslim faith, that doesn't mean she's devoid of spirituality entirely. In fact, she has spoken about her beliefs regarding karma and reincarnation on many occasions.

"I believe in second life. What’s my life gonna be like next time if I’m not gonna have my face then? Russian people are very superstitious. I really believe in karma. If you do something bad, it’s gonna come back to you," she told the New York Post.

Questions surrounding Irina's religious beliefs have largely come into focus now that there are rumors that she is romantically linked to Kanye West. Over the last three years, Kanye has wholly morphed his image into one of a devout Christian, refusing to make secular music and constantly referencing Jesus in virtually all of his actions.

With Irina's alleged religious heritage being Muslim, it'll be interesting to see if their spiritual differences cause a divide in the budding relationship, or if they're both willing to look past it in the name of romance. As usual, stay tuned to Distractify for the latest details on the situation as they emerge!

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