Tom Cruise has been following the Church of Scientology – the religion founded by L Ron Hubbard – for over 30 years now, and despite all the scrutiny surrounding the controversial religion, the actor stood by his faith in a new interview. The 54-year-old actor called his faith "a beautiful religion" as he went on to explain the influence of Scientology in his life.

In a rare public statement during the UK premiere of Cruise's latest film Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back, the actor supported Scientology and explained his personal experience. "It's something that has helped me incredibly in my life," he said and added, "I've been a Scientologist for over 30 years."

"It's something, you know, without it, I wouldn't be where I am. So it's a beautiful religion. I'm incredibly proud," said the high-profile Scientologist while speaking with ITV news in London on 20 October.

Cruise's statement on the philosophy comes in the wake of Louis Theroux's new documentary titled My Scientology Movie, which does not paint a positive picture of the religion.

The film features actors "auditioning" for the role of Scientologists and the scenes allegedly recreate accounts of former members of the faith involving senior church management.

Although the Mission Impossible actor has remained devoted to Scientology for over three decades, there have been several A-listers such as Leah Remini and Paul Haggis, who have left the church. The former-Scientologists have even claimed that the church leaders ask members to shun those who leave and label them as "suppressive persons".

Cruise was introduced to Scientology in 1986 by his first wife Mimi Rogers, when he was just an aspiring actor in Hollywood. After Rogers, the Top Gun actor married Nicole Kidman in 1990 only to end in divorce later in 2001. In 2006 Cruise got hitched with actress Katie Holmes. Although the duo are not together anymore, they share daughter Suri from their five-year-long marriage. The actor is also the father of two adopted children – Isabella and Conor with ex-wife Kidman.

Previously, there was a controversy surrounding the actor's spiritual belief and his relationship with his 10-year-old daughter. Reports claimed that Cruise cut ties with ex-wife Holmes and Suri after the two returned to the Catholic Church following the pair's divorce in July 2012.

However, the Church of Scientology has denied the claims and said, "Scientologists do not cut ties with non-Scientologist friends or family members because they have chosen another religion."