"Star Wars" movies have inspired the rise of a new religion in the Czech Republic. According to the latest census in the country, it was revealed that 15,070 citizens listed themselves as Knights of the Jedi. It was reported that the largest proposition of the adherents live in the country's capital Prague.
On the phenomenon, the deputy of the Czech statistical office Stanislav Drapal commented, "Fifteen thousand adherents, which is the size of a small town, is not a negligible social phenomenon." He added, "We included this option (in the census form) despite a fierce debate over whether it's serious or not. But it's not up to statisticians to say what is or is not a religion."
The statistical office additionally said in a statement, "Many people adhered to the moral values of Jedi knights from the 'Star Wars' saga." The office noted that the invented faith also had a strong influence for the similar movement in several other countries.
In "Star Wars", Jedis are described as the lightsaber-wielding peacemakers of the Galactic Republic. They have moral codes and philosophies that heavily influenced the fans of the movies.
The codes say, "There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is Force."
Aside from the Czech Republic, the Knights of the Jedi also emerged in countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Britain. In 2001, around 21,000 Canadians affiliated themselves with the religion and it also happened to around 53,000 people in New Zealand in the same year.