Britney Spears' Christian faith: 5 little-known facts

Britney Spears has appeared on the front cover of V Magazine's 100th edition and opened up about her faith. The 34-year-old pop star gave an interview to the American magazine where she said she had "my relationship with God and myself and that's what matters to me", adding "I really don't care what most people think."

Spears has enjoyed a diverse range of careers from being a singer-songwriter, dancer, actor, author and reality TV star. She has had an equally varied experience of religion over her lifetime. Here are five facts about Britney Spears' faith:

1. She was born and raised a southern Baptist.

"I'm a Baptist", said the star early in her career. "I grew up going to church but I think you can have spiritual experiences without going to church."

Early on in her career she was famous for saying she was a virgin and intended to remain chaste until marriage. This attitude gradually faded away as her performances became more provocative and she entered a long-term relationship with boyband singer Justin Timberlake.

2. She became involved in Kabbalah.

In 2004 Spears announced she had become involved with Kabbalah. Madonna, a long-term friend of the star, is said to have introduced Spears to the practice which involves an ancient form of studying Jewish texts.

At the time Kabbalah was popular with a number of celebrities including Mick Jagger, Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell and Demi Moore. Madonna even bought a multi-million pound house in central London and converted it into a Kabbalah centre.

"I read the Kabbalah books and I meditate on them," said Spears at the time. "They are all in Hebrew. I don't understand everything. But it's kind of OK that you don't. ... Kevin [Federline, her then husband] isn't into it as intensely as I am. For some reason I'm thirsting for it."

3. But at one point she appeared to renounce all forms of faith...


Spears and her former husband Kevin Federline had their first child in September 2005, who they named Sean.

Shortly before the birth of their second child a year later, Spears announced she no longer studied Kabbalah, explaining "my baby is my religion".

However there was speculation the real reason for her withdrawal was coercion over her money.

"She's tired of the way [Kabbalah leaders] kept hassling her for money," said a source told Today.

"Actually, it was mostly her mother's decision. They were always asking Britney to tithe [donate a percentage of her salary]. There was a lot of pressure, and finally her mum said, 'Enough is enough'."

4. She has dabbled with Hinduism.

The pop star was spotted at a Hindu temple in Malibu, California, in January 2006 with her four-month-old son.

She was reportedly getting a blessing for Sean and was even photographed with a Bindi, the red dot Hindu women typically wear on their foreheads. The priest at the temple said she was seeking "spiritual guidance", according to Cult News.

It's possible that Spears took Hinduism quite seriously at one stage, reportedly attending "reincarnation sessions" with a Hindu psychic. Some of the more entertaining speculation about this period in her life included her belief that she was a "Shetland sheepdog" in a former life, according to Digital Spy. A source reportedly said the star has flashbacks of being a dog working on a farm in Virginia. The insider continued: "She reckons her bossiness is a by-product of her days pushing sheep around."

5. There are hints of a Jewish resurgence.

While getting a tattoo of a pink and white cross on a her lower hip, Spears was photographed with a large of Star of David necklace, traditionally a symbol of the Jewish faith.

She even hung the necklace down her back when in the tattoo parlour so photographers peering through the window could capture the image.

Allegedly the star was wearing it as a gesture of solidarity with her then boyfriend Isaac Cohen, who is Jewish.