Religiosity often positively correlates with well‐being. Some orientations towards religion may, however, adversely affect well‐being by decreasing perceptions of personal locus of control—a critical antecedent of mental health. We examined this possibility in a New Zealand‐based national sample of religiously identified adults (N = 1486). As predicted, fundamentalism had a negative indirect effect on life satisfaction, but a positive indirect effect on psychological distress. Conversely, people's intrinsic religious orientation had a positive indirect effect on life satisfaction, but a negative indirect effect on psychological distress. Notably, all four indirect effects were transmitted through personal, but not God, locus of control. These results highlight the diversity of religious orientations and show that religious orientations that deemphasize people's personal locus of control have negative consequences for well‐being.