Mike Tyson has come under fire for comments he made about his faith during an interview with ABC’s “Nightline.”
Tyson, a devout Christian, said he’s “not a Muslim” in an interview conducted with host Chris Cuomo on Wednesday.
“I’m a Jewish guy,” Tyson said, before acknowledging that he had never met anyone of the faith.
“So, no, I don’t have a religion,” Tyson added.
“It’s like, no way.
You know, I’m just saying.”
Tyson was asked by Cuomo about comments he’s made on social media about being a Muslim, which he said have been misinterpreted by some as anti-Muslim.
“Well, let me be clear, it’s not a religious belief.
It’s not,” Tyson told Cuomo.
“There are Muslims all over the world that are just like me.
They don’t see the same problems as me, so I’m trying to get it out of the way.
I don of course want to offend anybody, but I’m sure there are people that are, too.”
The actor and former boxer has a long history of criticizing the country’s religious community.
He said in a 2010 interview with The Hollywood Reporter that “most of the Muslims I know aren’t bad people,” adding, “We’ve got to get our heads out of our asses.”
Tyson also called for an end to the death penalty, saying, “I don’t believe that there should be an afterlife,” and said he wouldn’t support same-sex marriage.
In an interview last year with The Christian Post, Tyson called on America to embrace a “soul-searching” mentality.
“The idea that you can only go to heaven, and that you’re gonna be there forever, and there is no soul, is wrong,” Tyson wrote.
“If you’re really into God, then you know what to do, but if you’re not into God then there is nothing to do.
So, I would suggest, if you want to know where God is going, and you want Him to be happy, go to hell.”
Tyson is the first actor to say publicly that he’s not Muslim, and he said that he doesn’t think there’s a God in heaven.
In a 2014 interview with GQ magazine, Tyson said he was “surprised” to learn that the “best way to go about finding God is to ask somebody in heaven,” adding that “the only way I can really get there is to pray to him.”
Tyson told the magazine that he was raised Christian but that “every time I heard a prayer, it was about a lot of things.”
Tyson said that his faith is based on a “strong moral code,” and that his religious beliefs are based on the Bible.
“When I was a kid I was raised in a Christian household.
I was taught that we were to believe in the Bible, and the Bible is God’s Word, and it’s the word of God.
And it’s our moral code.
And that’s what I do,” Tyson continued.
“What do I do?
I pray to God every day, and I know what’s going to happen in the future.
And I know that if I don and don’t, God is watching over me and I can’t get out of that.
So I’m a believer in that, that God is in control of me, that there’s something to be gained by praying to Him.”
Tyson has faced criticism for other controversial statements, including his recent endorsement of Donald Trump.
In August, Tyson announced he would not be supporting Trump’s campaign for president.