UK Refuses to Recognize Jedi Religion
The Temple of the Jedi Order has failed in its bid to be officially recognized as a religious organization in the UK. The Temple, based in Beaumont, TX, is recognized as a charitable group by the USA's Internal Revenue Service, but failed in its attempt last year to be considered a religion for charitable purposed in New Zealand.
According to the UK's Charity Commission, Jediism "lacks the necessary spiritual or non-secular element" of a religion, and there is "insufficient evidence that moral improvement is central to the beliefs and practices of [the group]."
The largely online group is disappointed by the dismissal. "We put a lot of work into the application and really did our best to illustrate why we do consider ourselves a religion and why we believe we do offer benefits not just to our members but also to the public at large," said Brenna Cavell, 32, a psychologist and spokeswoman for the Temple.
176,632 people in the UK listed their religion as Jedi in 2011's nationwide census.
Source: The Guardian