The Jedi Church recognizes that there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together, and accepts people from all walks of life, from all over the universe as members of its religion.
Do you think Jediism qualifies as a religion? Check out the facts below, and let us know what you think in the comments.
Star Wars: Jedi Order (Complete – New Canon).
FACT: Jediisim can be referred in a variety of ways including: Jedi Way, Jedi Path, Jedi Knights, Jedi Realism, or simply Jedi.
What is Jediism?
Jediism is a belief system, or religion (depending on who you ask), that is based on the philosophic and life practices of the Jedi in the Star Wars films. The fictional depiction of The Force and the Jedi Way presented in the films was based on some tenants of Eastern religions combined with elements of the orders of European knights during the middle ages.  Jediism, as it is practiced in reality, is based on that same foundation, continuing to draw on Eastern philosophies and religions such as Taoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism. Some Jedi circles have also incorporated the structural hierarchical titles of Judaeo-Christian religions as well.
This video documents one persons impressions about what the Jedi Path is.
What do Jedis Believe?
Despite its being inspired by the fictional works of Star Wars, not all Jedi are even fans of the films. However, they do adhere to the premise that sometimes fiction, as a form of expression, carries within it a fundamental truth. Many different sects of Jediism have sprung up around the world, but there are common theme among their beliefs  (paraphrased):
The Force is an energy field/source that binds all living things in the universe whether in the past, present, or future. It is neither good nor evil.
Non-theistic philosophical studies and life practices for improving one’s mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being are shared. However, there is no inherent dismissal of theistic beliefs.
Non-discrimination regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion (in addition Jediism), or sexual orientation is honored.
The fundamental value of living in service of others through compassion, generosity, chivalry, defending the innocent, and aspirations of altruism are embraced.
All sects have teachings grounded in the idea that by bettering the self the world is made better.
Most groups also place a high value on the progress of science and technology.
A video discussing the basis of The Force in science.
How Did Jediism Start?
Origin and Community
The history of Jediism and Jedi Religion is somewhat unclear and contested. The movement towards an actual religion or belief system appears to have started in the UK, which boasts the largest number of followers of any other country. At this point, the churches, temples, and academies are primarily online, though members may meet in person as well. The Force Academy is an online community that claims to have been founded in 1998.  This would make it the oldest formal online Jedi community that still exists today.
Are There Jedi Churches?
Several online churches, temples, academies, and charitable institutions have formed around the world affiliated with the Jedi religion. Daniel Jones founded the first official Chapter of the Church of Jedi in 2008 and has been a large supporter of formal recognition by governments based on the census which (even again in 2011) showed more followers of Jediism than Scientology in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia.
Is There Official Recognition of Jediism?
This video concludes that Jediism is not a officially recognized religion.
The video above, The Real Jedi Religion, concludes that Jediism is not formally recognized by anyone. Formal recognition, however, is debatable. It largely depends on how a government entity defines “religion”, how anyone might define “formal recognition”, and whether a nation “formally recognizes” any religions.
Jediism in the U.S.
The U.S. allows any religious organization or church to apply for a tax exempt status under specific guidelines. At this time, it does not appear that any of the U.S. based Jedi Churches have applied for this distinction federally, but most would probably meet all the requirements needed to do so because those requirements are intentionally vague. The Temple of the Jedi Order is a registered church and non-profit in Texas and their clergy are registered and ordained in Texas. The USA military allows Jedi to be listed as your religion on dog tags. Since the U.S. has a strong separation of church and state, religious organizations are only formally recognized for the purpose of tax-exemption or for the purpose of conscientious objection.
Jediism in Australia
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) refused to officially count the 70,000 Jediism responses on the census in 2001 because Jediism had not met their definition of a religion. Instead, they were counted as, ‘not defined’. This non-recognition of Jediism continued in the 2006 and 2011 census despite the fact that Jediism has become more organized and technically meets their definition for religious classification. According to the ABS, religion is inherently hard to define, but… “Generally, a religion is regarded as a set of beliefs and practices, usually involving acknowledgment of a divine or higher being or power, by which people order the conduct of their lives both practically and in a moral sense.” This same definition granted official recognition of Scientology as a religion in Australia, but only after a Court Case in 1983.
Jediism in the United Kingdom
The Office for National Statistics in the UK assigned Jedi its own census processing code in 2001, number 896. The significance and official status of this designation is debatable. The number of persons claiming Jedi as their religion in the UK surpassed Scientology even in the 2011 census, which had only 176,632 Jedi (roughly half the number of Jedi in the 2001 census). Jamie Reed, elected to Parliament in 2005, declared himself a Jedi during his first speech in office.
Jediism is lifestyle may have been influenced by the text from the role playing game.
Does Official Recognition of Jediism Matter?
Religion is hard to define. Official recognition by a governing entity is also difficult to define, and it isn’t necessary in order for a religion to be real to followers. Governing entities are inherently subjective, often biased, and tend to be resistant to change. However, there are generally accepted sociological definitions of religion and Jediism meets those definitions.
The Jedi Census Phenomenon
A map showing the prevalence of UK citizens reporting Jedi as their religion on the 2001 census by geographical location.
In 2001, an internet-based campaign encouraged English speaking people to answer “Jedi” (or “Jedism”, the “Jedi Path” or the “Jedi Way”) as a response to their religious classification on the census. This resulted in hundreds of thousands of citizens of countries around the world claiming a Jedi affiliation, known as the Jedi Census Phenomenon.  This answer was not taken seriously by most governments and was thought of as a joke. Some also considered it a demonstration of discontent with religion in general, the inclusion of the religion question on the census, and a push for greater recognition and inclusion of all personal beliefs by governments.
Official recognition by a governing body is not a requirement for a religion to exist because governing bodies are subjective by nature. Jediism has been formally recognized in some formats and meets the generally accepted definitions of a religion. It has a large number of followers around the world, a distinct set of doctrines outside of the Star Wars films, and organized online institutions where people obtain membership and explore their faith. Jediism is a bona fide religion.