CRITICS are slamming Miley Cyrus for her outrageous behavior, but the pop star’s pastor says the haters should pray for her instead!

While Miley got down and dirty with her raunchy “twerk­ing” at the VMA Awards and a naked romp in her “Wrecking Ball” video, her minister insists she has a “good heart.”

“We’ve gotten hate mail (about Miley) over the years,” Pastor Dave Roberts of Montrose Church in Montrose, Calif., told The ENQUIRER.

“People say, ‘You should have taught her better.’

“I usually write them back to say, ‘You’re talking about a young girl. You can’t imagine the pressure (she’s under).’”

The 20-year-old singer and her family began attending Roberts’ church after they moved to Los Angeles when Miley landed the role of TV’s “Hannah Montana” in 2005.

Roberts refused to pass judgment on Miley’s recent antics, saying: “I try to look at her as a young girl who happens to be going through her journey in front of everybody. If it was your daughter, would you want every phase she goes through to be publicly broadcast?”

Miley no longer attends his church, in part due to the horde of gawkers she attracted after becoming such a big celebrity. But Roberts said he and the congregation are behind her 100 percent.

“I’m here for her,” he declared.  “And I would always want Miley to feel that we’re standing by her and helping and supporting and praying for her.”