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Katy Perry WANTED Russell Brand to file the court papers in their divorce … because she didn’t want to upset her religious parents … sources connected to the former couple tell TMZ.

Failing to recognize the importance of understanding, respecting, accepting, and dealing with your religious differences in your interfaith marriage may have been the demise of their marriage.

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TMZ was told that … Katy and Russell knew the relationship was on the rocks a couple of months ago — but didn’t want to give up on the marriage without making a concerted effort to work things out.

But the effort fell flat … with both sides feeling “it just wasn’t there.”

We’re told both Katy and Russell were on board with the divorce a few weeks ago — but they didn’t want to be in town when the papers were filed … so he went back to England and she booked it to Hawaii.

Since Katy’s parents are evangelical Christians, we’re told she didn’t want to be the one to “officially” end the marriage by filing the docs … since she was raised to believe divorce is wrong.  After he filed the docs, Russell released a statement Friday insisting the two will “remain friends.”

Christians are to seek reconciliation and restoration, and then we are to forgive. It is the duty of a Christian to help his or her spouse grow spiritually and overcome sin. Abandoning and divorcing a spouse often makes the situation worse and prevents true healing in the “offending” spouse’s life. If Christians are to be the salt of the earth and a city on a hill, we must be different from the rest of the world, especially when it comes to marriage and divorce. Katy was most likely honoring her parents.

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