Pop star Justin Bieber shocked his fans and raised a few eyebrows this week after canceling the remainder of his Purpose World Tour concert dates, offering little explanation for the abrupt decision.
Some, though, are wondering if the cancelled tour centers on Bieber’s desire to focus on his Christian faith. In fact, reporter Richard Wilkins suggested on Australia’s “Today Extra” that the Grammy-winning artist wants to start his own church.
“I am led to believe that the real reason he’s come off the road is because he wants to reconnect with his faith, and may be even planning to start his own church,” Wilkins said Monday. “Whether he’s looking at teaming up with [Hillsong] … or starting his own church, we’re not quite sure. … That’s the word from an inside source.”
Sources at Hillsong, a network of churches Bieber is associated with, caused further speculation Tuesday by telling TMZ that the “Sorry” singer cancelled his concert schedule because he “rededicated his life to Christ.”
Others have speculated that the superstar’s decision was rooted in his “intense” relationship with Hillsong New York Pastor Carl Lentz.
“The church didn’t tell Justin to cancel the tour. He made his decision based on spiritual soul-searching and his own view of the path in life he should be taking,” a source told TMZ.
For his part, though, Bieber has only said the shows were cancelled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
“After careful consideration he has decided he will not be performing any further dates,” Bieber’s statement read. “Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.”
Insiders close to Bieber told People the 23-year-old performer is OK but “super exhausted.”
Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, went into a little more detail in an Instagram post about the cancelled tour, mentioning the pop star’s “soul” in his post.
“To those that won’t be able to see it… on behalf of myself, Justin, and the team, we are sorry,” Braun wrote. “That was never our intent. But a man’s soul and well being I truly care about came first and we must all respect and honor that.”