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'Star Wars' Is Religion for 15,000 in Czech Republic

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  • Star Wars
    (Photo: Reuters/William Gularte)
    People dressed as characters from Star Wars pose during a Star Fans Celebration in Guatemala City October 2, 2011. The celebration, aimed at fans of the films, took place for the seventh consecutive year.
By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
December 20, 2011|1:16 pm

There are many Jedis in the Czech Republic, according to a new census report.

Time magazine reports that 15,070 Czechs filled in Jedi Knight as their religion in the census, which is conducted every 10 years. The most popular religion in the state is Roman Catholicism, but there has been a shift away from Catholicism, according to reports.

The first “Star Wars” movie was released in 1977, and led to a complete series that gained a massive worldwide following. The movies addressed a variety of issues that included the battle between good and evil, with many people developing a theology based on the series.

Several authors have written on the correlation between “Star Wars” and theology, with the beliefs varying from Zen Buddhism (“The Dharma of Star Wars”) to Christianity (“Star Wars Jesus”).

The Jedi Church, an online organization, has orders in several U.S. states and countries abroad. According to its website, “The Jedi church has no official doctrine of scripture. The Jedi church recognizes that all living things share a living force and that all people have an innate knowledge of what is right and wrong, and the Jedi church celebrates this like no other religion.”

The Christian Post spoke with the Rev. Tim Winters of Shepherd of the Hills Church in California about the census and what its implications are for Christians. He stated, “This census would say to me as a pastor, that people are searching, they are searching for something bigger than themselves, more powerful than themselves, and even more supernatural than themselves.”

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Winters added, “If today's Church would be the Church that Jesus intended the Church to be, then I don't know that people would be attracted to something such as 'Star Wars.' The Church being 'The Church' as Christ ordained and challenged it to be would be the most attractive and appealing group regardless of where you are in the world.”

He also told CP that there are small groups similar to the “Star Wars” fans here in the United States because “people are passionate and pulled by a growing number of ‘things’ in their lives. They pursue so many things; there is a longing to belong that causes people to search … there is only one person who is going to fill that longing.”

 

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