Priyanka Chopra was born in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India. As both of her parents were military physicians as she was growing up, she spent her childhood moving to and living in various places all over India.
Chopra is a Hindu, though she seems largely secular.
She was devoted enough, however, to drop her filming obligations to attend a religious ritual when her father fell ill with cancer. The ritual, called Kirtan, is intended to heal through chanting and chatting.
Other than that, Chopra’s personal faith seems rather light and/or uninvolved.
Chopra’s political activity has centered around conflicts of religion, custom and culture in India. She has expressed concern over the religious divide between Hindus and Muslims in India, perhaps most notably when she urged members of both religions to practice restraint upon hearing the verdict of an Indian court that was set to rule on a controversial land dispute between the two religions.
Furthermore, Chopra did a film with a Muslim actor, Shahid Kapoor, where they switched religious identities in an attempt to shatter social boundaries.
One issue particularly close to Chopra’s heart is the prolific tradition of female feticide in India. Often, when parents find out they will be having a girl, they abort the fetus as girls are considered less valuable. She said, after confirming that it was “against her beliefs,”:
A girl is as precious as a boy… In India, as soon as a child is born and the doctor says, ‘It’s a girl,’ the child’s fate is sealed. She’s supposed to be treated a certain way, it’s not really important to educate her as much as it is to educate your boy. And I would like to [sic] thank my parents for wanting me.
That’s quite an emotional way of putting it. And I imagine much of India thanks Chopra’s parents as well. Such a position in a society like India’s might be considered progressive.