Feeds

Jedi Knights achieve official recognition as a religion

National Statistics office gets in touch

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Updated Jedi Knights have gained official recognition as a religion in the UK Census 2001.

Coming very near the bottom of an official list of religions put out by the Statistics Office, Jedi Knight is known by the code 896. Heathen comes in at 897. Followed by Atheist at 898 and lastly None with 899. It's not exactly a ringing endorsement though since the 800s come after every other religion, no matter how obscure, and 700 is used for all "other religions".

We reported in April about a worldwide attempt to get Jedi Knight accepted as a religion. It started out a daft idea but thanks to email and the Internet soon a whole army of budding Luke Skywalkers had joined in.

We spoke to the Home Office - which was not overly entertained especially since the Census is supposed to be deadly serious. However the Home Office would not say what constituted a religion and we subsequently discovered that while you can be heavily fined for putting down false details on a census form, it does not apply to the religion question.

With 95 per cent of census forms now received and scanning, coding and data capture due to be completed by August next year, we should know just how many official Jedi Knights there are in the UK by the end of 2002.

If you want to check out the full list of religions, download the relevant pdf file here and look on page 18. ®

Update

An official from the National Statistics office had called us up to complain about the story. Apparently they've been getting a load of phone calls asking if Jedi Knight is officially a religion.

This is the official line: the Census does not provide recognition to any religion in the official statistics nor does it attempt to define religion. The list that you can see by checking out the pdf file above is merely a list of possible answers that people have been known to put in the box marked religion.

As such, Jedi Knight is not officially recognised as a religion.

However, looking at it another way, neither is any other religion. We imagine there are a few followers of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism but the National Statistics office will not provide recognition of them officially. It's job is simply to identify the number of people in the UK that have given a particular answer to a particular question.

The spokeswoman that clarified the situation for us was one Ms Knight (no relation but some irony).

Related Link

Census 2001 site

Related Stories

May the false declaration be with you
UK Jedi get green light

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.