Was Matthew Perry Christian? Religion and actor’s encounter with God explored

Was Matthew Perry Christian? Religion and actor’s encounter with God explored. Matthew Perry, the beloved F.R.I.E.N.D.S. alum who unexpectedly passed away on Saturday, October 28, had struggled with alcohol and drug addiction for a long time prior to experiencing a divine intervention.

Despite being raised in a Christian household, the actor did not share his own perceptions of religion or his faith that often. However, he opened up about his battle with addiction and his encounter with a higher power, i.e., ‘God’ in his 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.

Matthew did not specify if that higher power that helped him recover from his addiction belonged to a specific religion.

During an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher in November 2022, Matthew Perry spoke about a near-death experience in 2018 when he suffered a colon burst caused by opioid abuse. At the time of his admission to the hospital, his family was told by the doctors that he had a survival chance of 2%.

Matthew was then put on an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine to support his breathing.

He told Bill Maher that five people, including him, were put on that machine that night, and he somehow made it while the other four couldn’t. Upon hearing the story, when Maher told Matthew as a lighthearted joke that God must be his fan, the actor expressed:

“I believe there is a higher power. I have a very close relationship with Him that’s helped me a lot.”

“I started to cry”: Matthew Perry spoke about feeling the presence of God
Matthew Perry started consuming alcohol at the age of 14 and became almost a regular drinker by the time he was 18.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer in October 2022, Matthew told her:

“By the time I was 18, I was drinking every day. At that time I was drinking out with friends, a lot, and then at 1:45 I would say ‘I’m going to go home’ and I would race across town to a liquor store, buy a bottle of vodka, and drink as much as I had with the other guys that night.”

He also shared that he prayed to God for the first time back when he was a teenager where he urged:

He also shared that he prayed to God for the first time back when he was a teenager where he urged:

This certainly came true when he landed the role of Chandler on F.R.I.E.N.D.S. in 1994 and gained widespread recognition. However, his addiction to drugs and alcohol kept getting worse. Though he managed to hide it from his cast members on the popular American sitcom, he was reported to often arrive on set being heavily hungover.

In his memoir, Matthew Perry revealed that he believed he blacked out a couple of times on the set of F.R.I.E.N.D.S as he did not remember filming some of the scenes. The late actor recounted that at one point, he was consuming about 55 pills of Vicodin a day. He wrote how he was meeting with drug dealers and was completely alone for months.

His addiction also caused the top row of his teeth to start rotting and the actor spent nearly $9 million on rehab and recovery programs. Matthew Perry had undergone 15 stomach injuries because of his addiction and had made more than 60 attempts at detoxing.

But nothing seemed to change for him until his unexpected and powerful encounter with whom he believes, was God. The actor recounted in his memoir that he urged God to help and show him that the divine power was there with him. Matthew Perry continued:

“As I kneeled, the light slowly began to get bigger, and bigger until it was so big that it encompassed the entire room.”

He shared that it made him wonder what was happening and why he started feeling better. The actor added:

“I started to cry. I mean, I really started to cry – that shoulder-shaking kind of uncontrollable weeping. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was crying because, for the first time in my life, I felt OK. I felt safe, taken care of. Decades of struggling with God, and wrestling with life, and sadness, all was being washed away, like a river of pain gone into oblivion.”

Matthew Perry asserted with certainty that he had been in God’s presence and credited his encounter with him as the sole reason for his sobriety for the following two years.

He further sang praises and gratitude of God sharing that the divine power had saved him that day and for the coming days by showing him a sliver of what life in general could be.

He wrote that God had made him want to seek not only sobriety but also the truth of life and God himself.