Demi Lovato insists Israel baptism was 'not a political statement'

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Demi Lovato at the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Demi Lovato has answered critics who slated her for getting baptised in Israel’s River Jordan, insisting it was “a spiritual experience” and “not a political statement”.

The US singer said this week that she felt “renewed” after taking part in the ceremony during a visit to Israel, which she called “absolutely magical”.

It sparked a backlash online, with some people accusing the star of promoting the country amid its conflict with Palestine.

Lovato - who was raised Christian and has Jewish ancestors - has now responded in a lengthy post on her Instagram Story, saying she felt “extremely frustrated”.

“I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts,” Lovato told her 74.5 million followers on the site.

Read more: Demi Lovato shares unedited bikini shot

“No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone.

“With that being said, I’m sorry if I’ve hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention.

“Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return.

“This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT and now I realise it hurt people and for that I’m sorry.”

Demi Lovato Instagram Story

Lovato, 27, continued: “Sorry I’m not more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience.

“Going against all advice right now and apologising because it feels right to me and I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself than staying quiet to please other people.”

Lovato, who spent time in hospital last year following a suspected drug overdose, shared the image of herself being baptised earlier this week, along with other pictures from her trip.

Read more: Demi Lovato’s history of addiction struggles

She told fans: “I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God…something I’ve been missing for a few years now.”

The star said the visit had given her the opportunity “to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart”.