Was Chadwick Boseman a Christian? Prayed to land Black Panther role, urged to 'enjoy simplicity of God's creation'

Actor Chadwick Boseman at the premiere of Marvel superhero film 'Black Panther' in London, Britain February 8, 2018Reuters

Movie fans around the world are mourning the death of Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, who played King T'Challa in the hit Marvel movie. Just months before his death, the Christian actor had sent a message to his Marshall co-star, Josh Gad, urging him to "enjoy the simplicities of God's creation."

Boseman died aged just 43 on Friday after privately battling colon cancer for the past four years.

Following the tragic announcement of Boseman's death, Josh Gad, known for being the voice of Olaf in the Frozen movie franchise, sent a Twitter post showing a message he had received from Boseman three weeks into the Coronavirus lockdown in Los Angeles.

The post was entitled "Catch the Rain", and said: "If you are in Los Angeles, you woke up this morning to the rare and peaceful sound of steady precipitation. If you're like me, maybe you looked at the week's forecast and found that it's supposed to rain for three straight days; not without breaks of sunlight and reprieves of moist bloom, but yea it's gonna be coming down like cats and dogs."

He added, "Great. We're stuck inside these damn quarantines because of the Covid, and now we can't even get no sun in Cali. Come on now!

"But now that the rain has stopped and today's storm has cleared, I urge you to go outside and take a DEEP breath. Notice how fresh the air is right now, after our skies have had a 3 week break from the usual relentless barrage of fumes from bumper to bumper LA commuters, and now today's rain has given the City of Angels a long overdue and much-needed shower.

"Inhale and exhale this moment, and thank God for the unique beauties and wonders of this day. We should take advantage of every moment we can to enjoy the simplicities of God's creation, whether it be clear skies and sun or clouded over with gloom."

Boseman grew up in the church, and it has been reported that his former pastor praised him for always being involved in serving at the church and helping others.

Baptised and raised as a Christian, Boseman maintained his Christian faith through his development into Hollywood stardom.

The actor was well-known for openly testifying that he prayed to land the role of Black Panther before he was chosen for the part.

Many years ago, fellow actor Denzel Washington had agreed to pay for nine Howard University students to participate in a summer acting program with the British Academy of Dramatic Acting in Oxford, England. A young Chadwick Boseman was one of those nine blessed recipients of the grant.

In 2019, Boseman was able to honour Denzel Washington when he gave a speech at the 2019 AFI Life Achievement Awards. Boseman said at that time: "It is an honor to now know you, to learn from you and join in this work with you."

He went on to reference the Bible verse of Ephesians 3:20, saying, "May God bless you exceedingly and abundantly more for what's in store than He ever has before. God bless you."

Following his death on 28 August, his family released a statement: "A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From 'Marshall' to 'Da 5 Bloods,' August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T'Challa to life in 'Black Panther.'"

Boseman leaves behind his wife, singer Taylor Simone Ledward.