Katt Williams Stopped Following His Childhood Religion to Avoid “Living a Double Life”

Elizabeth Randolph - Author
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Jan. 5 2024, Published 5:18 p.m. ET

Katt Williams
Source: Getty Images

Like many legends before him and his current peers, Katt Williams uses his comedic skills to discuss issues they’re passionate about off the stage.

Fans learned more about Katt’s personal life during his viral interview on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast.

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One topic they probably weren’t expecting the comedian to touch on was his religious journey, which began during the Ohio native’s childhood.

Here’s what we know about Katt Williams’ religion!

Katt Williams wearing a hat
Source: Getty Images
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Katt Williams said he struggled to live up to his family’s religious beliefs.

In January 2024, Katt sat down with Shannon about anything that Katt wanted to unleash. During their 2:46:00 chat, Shannon asked Katt about his upbringing and how it shaped him into his adulthood.

While asking Katt about his childhood, Shannon revealed that Katt grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness, something he has shared in his comedy. In his own words, Katt said his family often took mission trips to Haiti and other places. He also grew up passionate about the Bible, and though he read over 3,000 books within a year as a child, he felt the Bible was the “greatest book of all time” and thought of the text as his life guide.

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Although he loved reading the Bible, Katt’s parents’ religious beliefs were something The Boondocks alum couldn’t fully support. He told Shannon that though he appreciated his parents’ lessons, Katt couldn’t live within the religious framework they set up” because he didn’t want to grow up “living a double life and embarrassing my family.”

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However, due to his faith in God and wanting to live as Jesus did, Katt knew by 13 he was ready for a life that may contradict his family’s beliefs.

“If you say that my family is very religious, just say I’m not,” Katt told Shannon. “So anything I will do will not fall out of the guidelines. But I’m not let you tell me what I’m going to be, especially if what you’re saying is wrong.”

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The comedian explored other religions after he stopped being Jehovah’s Witness.

Though he’s no longer a Jehovah’s Witness, Katt’s faith followed him into adulthood and as his wildest dreams came true. In his early days as an aspiring standup comedian, the single father said on Club Shay Shay that he turned to God and had an “extreme conversation” about wanting to provide for his family through comedy.

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“I need something I can hold on to,” Katt recalled.

Katt Williams onstage
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As part of his spiritual practice, Katt also enjoys learning from other religions and becoming immersed in them. On Club Shay Shay, Shannon asked Katt about when he joined the Nation of Islam while living in San Francisco, Calif. Katt confirmed he joined the Islamic faith “for a time,” but it happened when he lived in Oakland.

The It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’ star explained that his interest in Islam sprouted from his relationship with Minister Louis Farrakhan, a second father to Katt.

While he didn’t share if he currently practices Islam, he said getting a firsthand account of the religion from those who lived it benefitted him more than researching it in a book or on the internet.

“Because my particular background was already religious and super strict, I didn’t find out about other religions by reading about them — I went to the religion,” Katt explained. “I don’t want to learn from Jewish people from outside. I want to be in a synagogue. I don’t want to learn from Muslim people. I want to go to a Mosque. I don’t want to hear about the Baptists or the Pentecostals. I want to go to their church and see. So that was the religious discovery I went through in that period.”

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