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Tuesday, 9 October, 2001, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Jedi makes the census list
Sir Alec Guinness
Jedi is the faith espoused in the Star Wars films
It's official: "Jedi Knight" is ON the list of religions for the 2001 UK census.

A campaign to get people to write the entry on their census forms has succeeded in the term being included on the list of religions, alongside Church of England, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu.

Sufficient numbers of people wrote the entry in for it to be allocated its own code for the census processing team to use.

But officials from the Office of National Statistics are keen to point out that just because Jedi Knight has been given its own code, that does not confer on it the status of official recognition.

Yoda, Jedi master
"Presbyterian my real religion is"
"We are not defining what a religion or a faith might be," a spokeswoman said. "We are recognising what some may have entered on their census form and ensuring that our coding framework will cater for it."

Other religions which are included on the list, alongside the better known cases, are the Church of Free Love, Wiccan, Divine Lightmission, and Coleraine Christian Centre.

Shortly before the census last April, an e-mail was circulated in the UK stating that if 10,000 people put Jedi on the census form, it would become a "fully recognised and legal religion".

A similar thing had previously happened in New Zealand, when citizens were led to believe they needed 8,000 signatures to make Jedi an official religion.

Also on the list
Free thinker
Celtic Pagan
The list of religions - posted on the statistics office website, and available under "Internet links" - is simply the list of answers to the religion question.

It is not yet clear how many people will have written Jedi on their form, as the counting process is still going on. Results are to be published in Autumn 2002.

And even then, the information might not be easy to obtain, as it will not be published separately in the official census reports released by the statistics office. Anyone wishing to find out the number would need to commission a special report to be produced.

See also:

11 Apr 01 | New Media
Jedi e-mail revealed as hoax
06 Mar 01 | Entertainment
The gospel according to Luke (Skywalker)
17 May 99 | Entertainment
A novice's guide to Star Wars
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