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Encyclopedia > Jedi religion

The Jedi census phenomenon was a grassroots movement in 2001 for citizens in a few English-speaking countries to record their religion as "Jedi" or "Jedi Knight" (after the fictitious religious order from the Star Wars films) on the national census, apparently as a very large-scale practical joke. Grassroots democracy is the political processes which are driven by groups of ordinary citizens, as opposed to larger organisations or wealthy individuals with concentrated vested interests in particular policies. ... 2001 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Jedi are a fictional monastic peacekeeping organization from the Star Wars saga. ... For the missile defense program, see Strategic Defense Initiative. ... A census is the process of obtaining information about every member of a population (not necessarily a human population). ... A practical joke or prank is a practice intended to be humorous (usually in action, not just in words) in which another person is fooled, annoyed, or embarrassed in what the perpetrator imagines to be a mild and light-hearted fashion. ...


The campaign was loosely organized by circulating emails claiming that if enough people entered "Jedi", it would be recognized as an official religion by the government. This is in fact the case in New Zealand, which led to confusion since the head of the British Office for National Statistics, Len Cook, is from New Zealand. The emails also implored people to report their religion as "Jedi" "because you love Star Wars" or "just to annoy people". Other reasons that have been suggested for this behaviour have included frivolity, a protest or mockery of the census or religion, or a desire to claim or pretend that one is a Jedi. The Office for National Statistics is the UK government agency charged with the collection and publication of government statistics. ...


In Australia more than 70,000 people declared themselves members of the Jedi in the 2001 census, while 53,000 listed themselves as Jedi in New Zealand and 20,000 listed themselves as Jedi in Canada.


In England and Wales 390,000 people (0.7%) stated their religion as Jedi on their 2001 Census forms, making it the fourth largest reported religion in the country. The highest such responses were typically in cities with high student populations. The percentages of religious affiliations (excluding atheists and non-respondents) were: Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area  - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population  - Total (2001)  - Density Ranked 1st UK 49,138,831 377/km² Religion... National motto: Cymru am byth (Welsh: Wales for ever) Waless location within the UK Official languages English(100%), Welsh(20. ... For information about the band, see Atheist (band). ...

  • Christian: 94.0%
  • Muslim: 3.1%
  • Hindu: 1.1%
  • Jedi: 0.7%

Jedi is still not recognised as an "official" religion in any nation where the movement took place, however it was assigned its own code in the United Kingdom for census processing. Officials from the British Office for National Statistics have pointed out that just because "Jedi Knight" has been given its own code, that does not confer on it the status of official recognition; it merely means that it has been registered as a common answer to the "religion" statistic.


The joke may well be on the people who started the rumour. It has been suggested that many people who would otherwise not have completed a Census form did so solely to record themselves as Jedi, so this joke actually improved the quality of the Census.


See also

The Jedi Religion claims a number of adherents throughout the world. ...

External links

  • National Statistics Online (2001), "390,000 Jedis There Are" (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=297&Pos=&ColRank=2&Rank=1000)
  • Article about this phenomenon at Snopes.com (http://www.snopes.com/religion/jedi.htm)
  • JEDI Census, unofficial web page for the campaign (http://www.gonmad.co.uk/jedicensus/)

  Results from FactBites:
 
CNEWS Weird News - 'Jedi' religion of choice for 20,000 Canadians (257 words)
"Jedi" is the religion of choice for 20,000 Canadians, according to 2001 census data released yesterday by Statistics Canada.
Denis Dion, a produce manager who lives near Vancouver, said he and some friends decided to write in "Jedi" to thumb their noses at the government for asking what he felt was an inappropriate question.
In the blockbuster George Lucas sci-fi films, Jedis are depicted as holy warriors who use the powerful strength of "the Force" to overcome sinister elements.
Jedi census phenomenon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (555 words)
The Jedi census phenomenon was a grassroots movement in 2001 for citizens in a few English-speaking countries to record their religion as "Jedi" or "Jedi Knight" (after the fictitious religious order of Force-attuned knights in the Star Wars films) on the national census.
Jedi is still not recognised as an "official" religion in any nation where the movement took place; however, it was assigned its own code in the United Kingdom for census processing.
Officials from the British Office for National Statistics have pointed out that just because "Jedi Knight" has been given its own code, that does not confer on it the status of official recognition; it merely means that it has been registered as a common answer to the "religion" statistic.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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