Request by The Temple of the Order of Jedi to the Charity Commission to recognize it as a religion has been turned down.
For many, the Jedi organization is a little more than a joke. But for them, their organization is a serious religion. However, the Temple of the Jedi Order’s application to obtain the status of an actual religion has been turned down by the UK’s Charity Commission. If the Temple’s application had been accepted, Jediism would have received the same benefits as other religious organizations. For the Charity Commission, however, the ideas of Jediism don’t match with the criteria that the Charity Commission uses to define a religion, and so, the application has been turned down.
Jediism is based on the famous movie series, Star Wars and has thousands of adherents today.
The Charity Commission ruled that Jediism does not promote “ethical and moral improvement” in society.
The Jedi applicants were disappointed by the Charity Commission’s decision, and insisted that they had put in a lot of hard work into the application. One of the adherents, a psychologist named Brenna Cavell, 32, insists that Jediism does try to promote ethical and good values in society, and has tried its best to convince the Charity Commission about the value it adds to society. The Temple’s website itself says that it tries to promote “goodwill, understanding, compassion and serenity.” The Temple does not hold on to beliefs in mystical power, and is not just an organization of Star Wars fans. Instead, the Temple adherents follow a way of life that they believe is ethical and benefits the world. This way of life is inspired from the values that govern the Star Wars universe.
The Temple believes in the “force,” a concept that is constantly used in Star Wars. This “force” is referred to as by some Jedis as a higher power or as God.
— Terry Goldsworthy (@tgoldswo) December 21, 2016
The idea behind applying for applying at the Charity Commission was to give their organization a sense of legitimacy so that people who donated to them would be assured that they are donating to a genuine cause. The Commission, however, said that the organization lacked the “spiritual or non-secular element” that they look for in religions, citing “insufficient evidence that moral improvement is central to the beliefs and practices of [the group].”