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UN rejects Jedi Knights' plea for recognition

RAW STORY
Published: Thursday November 16, 2006

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This afternoon, the United Nations rejected a call by "Jedi Knights" in England for recognition of the Jedi faith as an official world religion, RAW STORY has found.

A story today in the English tabloid The Sun reported an appeal to departing Secretary-General Kofi Annan by the Jedi worshippers for official recognition of their religion. The Sun reported that 390,000 people listed "Jedi" as their faith on the 2001 UK Census. The Sun added that the Jedi believers wanted today's UN International Day of Tolerance changed to an "Interstellar Day of Tolerance."

But today in New York, the spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations said that Mr. Annan would not make any such move. "The UN is not in the business of certifying religions," said Mr. Annan's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.

"With or without light sabres," he added.

When pressed for further clarification, Mr. Dujarric added "If I could be transported to another planet right now, I would."

The video of the press conference can be accessed at the UN's website. RAW STORY has made a complete transcript of the exchange available below.

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Question: Just one other question, and I donít know whether it is for you or for Gail, but in England two Jedi Knights have appealed for recognition of what they call Britainís fourth largest religion from the United Nations. I was wondering what the procedure was whereby the UN or the General Assembly would decide whether to recognize Jedi Knights as a religion.

Spokesman: As much of a geek that I may have been as a teenager where I saw Star Wars way too many times, unfortunately we are not in a position to recognize officially, the UN is not in the business of officially recognizing religions.

Question: Iím interested, does the UN recognize any religions?

Spokesman: The UN is not in the business of certifying religions, with or without light sabres.

Question: What they tried to do is say that their concerns should be recognized, turning an international day of tolerance into an interstellar day of tolerance, and I was wondering if the UN had anyÖ

Spokesman: Mark, if I could be transported to another planet right now, I would. On that note, GailÖ