Pair Use The Force For Jedi Religion
Two self-styled Jedi Knights are stepping up an intergalactic campaign for formal recognition. Umada and Yunyun, also known as John Wilkinson and Charlotte Law, want the UN to acknowledge "The Force" is worthy of being called a religion. The couple claim to be part of the UK's fourth largest religious group, after 400,000 people recorded their faith as "Jedi" in the 2001 Census.
They say that as a religion, they deserve tolerance and respect. November the 16th is the annual International Day for Tolerance.
And as part of a global battle worthy of Luke Skywalker's efforts against the Empire, the band of self-styled Jedis want the UN to re-name the day as Interstellar Day of Tolerance.
More people claim their religion to be Jedi in England and Wales than those who follow Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism. And the cause has global support.
There are also 70,000 Jedi knights in Australia, 53,000 in New Zealand, and 20,000 in Canada.
This is Umada and Yunyun's letter to the UN Association:
To whom it may concern,
For the last ten years the United Nations has marked today as the International Day of Tolerance.
While we support this important work, we feel the UN needs to move with the times.
In the 2001 UK census, 390,000 people identified themselves as Jedi Knights, making us the fourth largest religion in the country.
We have a proud heritage dating back 195,000 years to our first Jedi, the blue haired, blue eyed Kaja Sinis, who was born on Coruscant.
Like the United Nations, the Jedi Knights are peacekeepers, and we feel we have the basic right to express our religion through wearing our robes, and to be recognised by the national and international community.
We therefore call upon you to change the 16th November to the United Nations Interstellar Day of Tolerance, to reflect the religious make-up of our twenty-first century civilization.
Tolerance is about respecting difference where ever it lies, including other galaxies. Please don't exclude us from your important work.
May the Force be with you.