'The Bachelorette' star Hannah Brown speaks out amid criticism: 'I refuse to believe I give Christians a bad name'

Hannah Brown is already more than halfway through her season as The Bachelorette, but she’s just now taking a moment to address some harsh criticism she’s faced throughout her journey — including that which takes aim at her faith.

The former Miss Alabama has been open about her religious beliefs on camera, most recently in a notable conversation with a contestant who goes by Luke P, as she talks through potential relationships and even pre-marital sex. But during Monday night’s explosive episode, when the 24-year-old revealed, “I have had sex and Jesus still loves me,” Brown felt some heat from viewers at home.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Brown acknowledged comments made about the recent episode with one strong statement: “I refuse to believe I give Christians a bad name.”

“I am standing firm in believing that maybe God wants to use a mess like me to point to His goodness and grace. But dang, it’s hard,” she wrote. “The amount of hate I and the men on this journey with me receive… it’s chilling to know so many people want to spread hurt so recklessly.”

The bachelorette and former Bachelor contestant went on to acknowledge that “we all fall short of the glory of God… we just happen to do it on national television.” Many of the ABC franchise’s other cast members came to her defense, including the person whose final rose Brown previously competed for, Colton Underwood.

“Keep being you. You’re an amazing example to every Christian by being bold and conquering your fears, being honest, and standing up for yourself,” Underwood wrote, while his girlfriend, Cassie Randolph, added, “You’re such a light and an amazing example of a Christian who is bold, humble, and kind. I see it every time I watch you.”

One fan also shared that Brown is actually her “favorite person that has ever been on national television” because she’s “honest, real and human.”

Ultimately, Brown said that although she’s flawed, she shouldn’t be judged for it.

“I’m an imperfect human. Who is yes, also a Christian,” she wrote. “God has a master plan for all the failures I continue to learn and grow from to work out for good, and for his glory.”

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