Izzy From 'Love Is Blind' Was Raised as a Jehovah's Witness — A Look At His Faith and Family Today

Izzy Zapata, a contestant on 'Love Is Blind' Season 5, he discusses his religious upbringing and family on the show. What are his current beliefs?

Kelly Corbett - Author

Sep. 22 2023, Published 2:53 p.m. ET

izzy zapata
Source: Netflix

The Gist:

  • Izzy Zapata is a contestant on Love Is Blind Season 5.
  • He explains that he had a sheltered upbringing as he was raised as a Jehovah's Witness.
  • Izzy says he felt so lost when he found out that his dad was not actually his biological father.
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Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 5 of Love Is Blind.

The beauty of Netflix's Love Is Blind is it brings singles together from all different backgrounds. In Season 5, we met Izzy (real name Ismael Zapata), and he shared details from his childhood, including that he grew up as a Jehovah's Witness. That said, many users have been wondering: Is he still a practicing Jehovah's Witness? Plus, what we know about Izzy's biological father, who he said he met later in life.

Izzy from 'Love Is Blind' says he was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

While in the pods, Johnie asked Izzy, who is from Corpus Christi, Texas, about his upbringing. He explained that it was "super strict" and "sheltered," adding, "My family was all Jehovah's Witness."

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For reference, Jehovah's Witnesses are a sect of the Christian Church who believe in one God, Jehovah, and in Jesus Christ as his Son and the Messiah. They also believe that the Bible is the only source of religious truth.

Izzy continued to note that as a Jehovah's Witness, he couldn't compete in competitive sports and had to hide that he played baseball.

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"We never celebrated any holidays. We never had any family traditions or anything like that," he said.

In fact, when he was in elementary school, his class would have parties to celebrate holidays like Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine's Day, but he wouldn't be allowed to attend. He would either have to get picked up early from school or sit in a classroom by himself and watch a movie.

Izzy also had a distinct memory of one Easter when his neighbors invited him over for an egg hunt. "They were so sweet. They gave me a sack. And I'm like over there Easter Egg hunting and, like, my dad I just see him outside the fence," Izzy explained. "And I remember he was so livid. He like yanked me out and never liked educated me on why."

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Izzy confirmed that he is no longer a Jehovah's Witness, noting that he got his first Christmas tree in 2018. Of his time as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, he said he "f-----g hated it."

He also shared that he was excited to fall in love with someone so he could meet their family and take part in their holiday traditions.

It's unclear if Izzy is currently practicing a religion.

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Izzy opens up the traumatic moment he found out his dad wasn't actually his biological father.

Izzy Zapata and his mother Reina Blanco
Source: Facebook / Izzy Zapata

Izzy Zapata and his mother Reina Blanco

After the incident at Easter, Izzy knew he couldn't stay in that house any longer. That said, he went to stay with his cousin.

"I'm like venting it out, and I'm telling [my cousin] and just like out of nowhere he just kinda stops me. He's like 'Do you know that's not your real dad?' And I was like what? And I lost my s--t."

"I remember bawling my eyes out and I felt so lost." Izzy didn't share any more details but shared in another discussion with Johnie that his mom and aunt raised him and he did eventually meet his biological father later in life. Izzy still appears to be close to his mother.

Izzy's biological father is believed to be Ismael "Smiley" Zapata, a Jehovah's Witness who passed away in June 2022.

Watch Love Is Blind Season 5 on Netflix.

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