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"Hey, if they're trying to find God, I'd be happy to send them on their way."
Ashley Williams, Mass Effect

A practitioner of The New Rock and Roll or the Big Guy turns out to be heavily religious, bonus points if he is a priest/pastor/whatever.

Despite the name, needs not be physically strong.

Compare with Church Militant, which is this trope with the emphasis flipped, and All Monks Know Kung Fu, when a Christian monk is presumed to be a martial artist just because he is... well, a monk. Also see Badass Preacher and Warrior Monk, for specific characters who wear both their faith and their ass-kickery on their sleeves.

Examples of Religious Bruiser include:

Anime and Manga

  • A rare villainous (or at least, very mentally broken) example: Anji Yukyuzan from Rurouni Kenshin. He gets better.
  • Paladin Father Alexander 'Bayonet' Anderson from the ultra violent Hellsing is an anti-heroic example.
  • Chichiri from Fushigi Yuugi is a monk, and possibly one of the most powerful warriors in the series. He's one of the two Suzaku warriors to survive by the end, anyway.
  • Bartholomew Kuma, one of the biggest and strongest humans in One Piece, carries a Bible everywhere he goes, and dresses in a way similar to that of a priest.

Comic Books

  • Connor Hawke from Green Arrow comics.
  • Nightcrawler from X-Men comics.
  • Liang Xih'kai aka Thunderlord from the Global Guardians was both a super hero and a Buddhist Bare-Fisted Monk.
  • Rahne Sinclair from New Mutants is a devout Presbyterian and doesn't look like much, but when she transforms into her werewolf form, she's very dangerous.
  • Transformers Sunstorm is a religious seeker who never failed to mention "The will of Primus." He also believes that Primus sent him to this world -universe, life, whatever- to deal righteous judgment on the blasphemous. He is a terrifying warrior for his beliefs, especially since he's on fire and so radiated that bots melt, circuits fry, and such when they get to close. Even without that he's a terrifying warrior who's not afraid to kill for Primus and has plenty of weapons and hand-to-hand combat knowledge. His strength is only surpassed by his will and love for Primus.


  • Jules from Pulp Fiction likes to recite a verse from the Bible to his victims before he kills them.
    • Subverted, in that the Biblical admonition doesn't mean anything to him at first, and he just says it to sound cool. But later unsubverted when he thinks more deeply about the admonition and realizes that he's been totally misinterpreting it.
    • Also subverted in that most of said "Bible verse" isn't actually in The Bible.
  • In The Avengers, Captain America doesn't much care for the likes of Thor and Loki being described as gods.

  Captain America: There's only one God, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that.


Live Action TV

  • Mr. Eko on Lost turned out to (sort of) be a priest.
  • In an episode of Psych, a daredevil mentions he a "good Christian man" as a reason he doesn't want a psychic around.
  • Dog the Bounty Hunter is quite openly Christian, and will sometimes be shown praying for the safety of his crew before going after a fugitive.
  • Seeley Boothe from Bones often expresses how deeply he believes in his Catholic faith, even though it's been implied he doesn't attend every Sunday mass and he has had sex with several women (has a son with one), though has never married.
  • Shepherd Book in Firefly is a very religious man, and as such never kills anybody... However, the Bible is somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.

Mythology & Religion

  • In parts of Germany and Austria, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) is accompanied by a Knecht Ruprecht / Krampus, a demon who was tamed by the saint and now helps him punishing evil kids. Hm, if Santa can take on a demon, that'd definitely make him this trope.
  • Samson and David in The Bible

Real Life

  • Mr T anyone?.
  • The late Geoff Mann, lead singer with prog band Twelfth Night, was an ordained priest in the Church of England.
  • American football player Reggie White.
    • Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow is very outspoken about his faith.
  • Alice Cooper has been rather open about his Christian faith since the 90s, even if he doesn't talk about it a whole lot. He still chops the heads off of mannequins at shows and plays up the act.
  • An example this troper has read of second-hand: a Holy Roller preacher in the United States who was observed by a young boy to carry a .45 M1911 automatic pistol, i.e. US GI issue. When asked why a preacher would carry a .45 automatic, he replied that it was because they didn't make it in .50 calibre. (They do now.)
  • Shawn Michaels

Tabletop Games

  • Whole armies in Warhammer 40000, but most notably the Space Marines -- Super Soldier warrior monks in Power Armour, with a prayer and a really big gun for every occasion.
    • The Marines are more "Warrior Monk" than outright priest; they respect the Emperor to a point of near worship, being something of a genetic grandfather. The Sisters of Battle? They literally put the militant in Church Militant. And where other races use psychic powers or daemonic magic, they pray for the Emperor's assistance. He provides it.
      • In practice, there's not really much distinction between "revering" and "worshipping" the Emperor for most Space Marines, and many chapters do openly worship the Emperor, including the Fire Angels, the White Consuls and most significantly, the Black Templars.
    • There was an entire Space Marine legion of those in the age before the Horus Heresy. The Word Bearers under the Primarch Lorgar were pious and devout, and revered the Emperor as a god. He actually frowned on this and chastised his son for his zeal. Afterwards, the Word Bearers turned heretics and began worshipping the Chaos Gods (and actually deliberately kicked the Horus Heresy into action, being the first Space Marines who turned traitors and who later tempted Horus into doing the same). As of the 41st millenium they are still active and very well organized, a constant threat to the Imperium - both militarily and ideologically as they would gleefully corrupt entire worlds.
  • Iron Kingdoms gives us the Protectorate of Menoth. Their uniforms even have a "priestly" motif.

Video Games

  • The Tower social link in Persona 3 is a monk whose in game profile describes as looking like a gangster, spending every weekend chain-smoking and drinking heavily in a night club. He still takes religion seriously though. Get far enough along his Social Link, and he decides to reconnect with his family (whom he ran out on before becoming a monk).
  • Wakka in Final Fantasy X.
  • Janos Audron: True, while the God he is devoted to turned out to be a selfish, manipulative Eldritch Abomination, Janos is unaware of this and is pious, priestly and one of the most powerful warriors of his race.
  • Ashley, Samara and Thane from Mass Effect (soldier, Warrior Monk and assassin) are all this, for starters. Possibly Wrex as well.
    • Shepard himself, if you play him that way.
  • Most of the Olacion Order in Radiata Stories can qualify as this.
  • Sten of Dragon Age. Though it's hard to tell at first since he's The Stoic and operates on Blue and Orange Morality.
  • Roberto Frois in Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams.
  • Gaira Caffeine of Samurai Shodown. Bonus points for his weapon being an oversized set of prayer beads.
  • Dungeon Fighter Online has the most badass "priest" character ever. Behold.
  • Dutch in Halo 3: ODST is a member of the most Badass military unit outside of the setting's Super Soldier program, and was a college major in philosophy and religion, occasionally incorporating it into his dialogue and outlook.

 Dutch: Like the Good Book says, "Payback is a bitch!"

Micky: I don't think it actually says that, Dutch.

Dutch: I'm paraphrasin', ya heathen!

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