Val Kilmer's family believe his health is suffering because of his religious beliefs.

Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer

The 55-year-old actor was rushed to hospital last week after bleeding from his throat but has denied reports he underwent emergency surgery and has a tumour.

However, insiders told TMZ that Val has known since last summer he had a tumour but wouldn't seek treatment because of his Christian Science beliefs, which are that prayer heals, not medical treatment.

The 'Batman Forever' star had reportedly had trouble speaking for some time and hid his swollen neck with scarves and other clothing items, but didn't confess he was in pain as it would be an admission that prayer hadn't worked.

According to the insider, anyone who persisted with asking the actor to seek medical help was simply cut out of his life.

However, the family is hopeful his attitude is changing as when he began coughing up blood last week, he has become more receptive to treatment.

Val - who has 23-year-old daughter Mercedes and 19-year-old son Jack with his ex-wife Joanne Whalley - recently admitted his friends have been "most sensitive" about his "spiritual convictions" and purposely did not address any rumours while he was in hospital in a bid to reduce "silly talk".

He explained: "Friends have assisted who know my spiritual convictions and have been most sensitive and kind for the extra effort in making sure there's minimum gossip and silly talk."

The acclaimed actor - who has starred in 'Top Gun', 'Heat' and 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' among other films - is now hoping to recover swiftly so he can return to acting imminently.

He concluded: "I am praying for a speedy return to the boards as they say. God bless you all and please don't worry. Love and deep affection , Val (sic)."

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