Jedi is not a religion, Charity Commission rules – BBC News

6 months, 18 days ago
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jediism stems from the myth of the Star Wars films

Jediism, the worship of the myth of Star Wars, is not a religion, the Charity Commission has ruled.

The commission rejected an application to grant charitable status to The Temple of the Jedi Order.

It said Jediism did not “promote moral or ethical improvement” for charity statute intents in England and Wales.

In the 2011 census, 177,000 people proclaimed themselves Jedi under the religion segment, stimulating it the seventh most popular religion.

The following began as a tongue-in-cheek replies from some atheists on the UK’s 2001 census when a question on religious belief was asked for the first time.

But others took the message from the Star Wars films further, aiming to build a faith system and religious code inspired by the franchise.

Image copyright AP Image caption First seen in the 1977 movie Star Wars, Jedi are an order of warrior monks who serve as “the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy” and embrace the mystic Force

In its ruling the Charity Commission said Jediism “lacked the necessary spiritual or non-secular element” it was looking for in a religion.

It said there was insufficient evidence that “moral improvement” was central to the beliefs and practices of Jediism and did not have the “cogency, cohesion, or seriousness” to genuinely has become a faith system.

The commission said to be classed as a religion it must also have a positive beneficial impact on society in general and raised concerns that Jediism may, in part, have an “inward focus” on its members.


What is Jediism?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Yoda ‘Jedi Master he is’ in the Star Wars cinemas was stronger than most in his connection with the Force

According to The Temple of the Jedi Order, Jediism is based on the observance of the Force, described as “the ubiquitous and metaphysical power” that a Jedi believes to be the underlying, fundamental nature of the universe Jedi do not believe in a divinity, having faith instead “in the Force, and in the inherent worth of “peoples lives” within it” They believe in eternal life through the Force and do not become “obsessed in mourning the individuals who pass”. Jedi may mourn but are content, knowing they will “forever be a part of the Force” The definition of Jediism states the religion is an “inspiration and a way of life” for people who take on “the mantle of Jedi” The Jedi Doctrine recognise there is some “scope for followers to simply view Jediism as a doctrine or way of life” and some Jedi prefer to avoid the word religion