[Surfside] Australia's newest religion

Roman Zimmermann roman@waldenweb.com
Tue, 27 Aug 2002 07:02:25 -0500


SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- May the Force be with you. Amen.
More than 70,000 fans of the "Star Wars" movies have upset Australia's
statistics agency by identifying their religion as "Jedi" during last year's
national census.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday that 0.37 percent of the
nation's population of 19 million, or 70,509 people, had written "Jedi" or a
related response to an optional question about their faith when the head
count was taken last August.

Jedi is a mystical faith followed by some of the central characters in the
"Star Wars" films.

The prank began early last year when "Star Wars" fans circulated an e-mail
across Australia saying the government would be forced to recognize Jedi as
an official religion if at least 10,000 people named it on the census.

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