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Canada has 20,000 Jedis: Census

Last Updated Tue May 13 12:17:45 2003

OTTAWA-- The vast majority of Canadians identify themselves as Christians, but a surprising number told Census takers they are followers of the Jedi, the holy warriors from the movie Star Wars.

Seven out of 10 Canadians answered either Roman Catholic or Protestant when asked which religion they follow, according to data released on Tuesday by Statistics Canada, so the 20,000 Canadian followers of Obi-Wan Kenobi pose little threat to the major religions.

That number came as a result of an e-mail campaign that urged people to respond "Jedi" when asked about their religion in the 2001 Census. Similar campaigns were even more successful in other countries such as Britain, where more people said they were Jedis than called themselves Jews.

Canada's Jedis are concentrated in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

Otherwise, Canada remains a mostly Christian country, but the number of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist Canadians grew substantially during the 1990s.

Muslims more than doubled their numbers to 579,000, while Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists all grew to represent about one per cent of the population at about 300,000.

The percentage of Canadians who say they have no religion also grew, to 16 per cent from 12 per cent a decade earlier.

The number of Roman Catholics in Canada grew, but they made up a slightly smaller proportion of the population, falling to 43 per cent. The number of Protestants shrank over the decade by six percentage points to 29 per cent.

A shift in the origins of Canada's immigrant population is credited with increasing the country's religious diversity.

Along with Jedis, fringe religions included Rastafarians, Scientologists and Satanists.

Canada's top 10 religions

(as a percentage of the population)

• Roman Catholic – 43.2

• No religion – 16.2

• United Church – 9.6

• Anglican – 6.9

• Christian (other) – 2.6

• Baptist – 2.5

• Lutheran – 2.0

• Muslim – 2.0

• Protestant (other) – 1.9

• Presbyterian – 1.4

Written by CBC News Online staff

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Hmmmm.... that kind of goes along with this story - only Jedis are much cooler than Klingons!

Oregon county must hire Klingon interpreter

Some mentally ill patients apparently speaking tongue devised for Star Trek

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Position Available: Interpreter, must be fluent in Klingon.

The language created for the Star Trek TV series and movies is one of about 55 needed by the office that treats mental health patients in metropolitan Multnomah County, Ore.

"We have to provide information in all the languages our clients speak," said Jerry Jelusich, a procurement specialist for the county Department of Human Services, which serves about 60,000 mental health clients.

Although created for works of fiction, Klingon was designed to have a consistent grammar, syntax and vocabulary.

And now Multnomah County research has found many people - and not just fans - consider it a complete language.

"There are some cases where we've had mental health patients where this was all they would speak," said the county's purchasing administrator, Franna Hathaway.

County officials said that obligates them to respond with a Klingon-English interpreter, putting the language of starship Enterprise officer Worf and other Klingon characters on a par with common languages such as Russian and Vietnamese and less common tongues including Dari and Tongan.

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