It's Official: Heavy Metal Is A Bigger 'Religion' In U.K. Than Scientology

According to The Guardian, more than 6,000 citizens of of England and Wales have registered the religion they actively follow as "heavy metal" in the most recent U.K. census.

More people registered heavy metal than they did Satanism, with only 1,893 declaring that they follow the church of Satan.

At the last census in 2001 there was a campaign to encourage people to answer the question with Jedi — named after the fictional good guys in the "Star Wars" films. Around 390,000 people across England and Wales claimed to be devoted followers of the Jedi "faith" made famous by the blockbuster films. The number of self-described Jedi Knights has since dropped to 176,632, Tuesday's figures show.

Despite the drop in numbers, "Jedi" remains the top alternative faith and ranks seventh overall after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism.

Story continues after advertisement

Nearly three years ago, U.K. rock magazine Metal Hammer launched a campaign urging heavy metal fans to officially register their faith as "heavy metal" while filling in the census questionnaire.

The move gained the backing of SAXON frontman Biff Byford, who the magazine said would become the proposed faith's "world metal peace ambassador" if the campaign proved successful.

Alexander Milas, editor of Metal Hammer, said at the time: "Like a lot of good ideas, this one came about in a pub and the response online has been overwhelming. It only reinforces the belief that heavy metal remains strong in its U.K. birthplace and across the globe. If the Jedi can do it, then we can too. The only requirement to join our campaign is that you listen to heavy metal, our commandment: everything louder than everyone else."

Byford told Independent.co.uk in 2010 that "heavy metal is a tribal music and everyone is a member of the tribe. The audience is very, very loyal… especially the Germans. It's not like pop music, where if the next song isn't good enough then forget about it; with our music, people will allow you to be shit sometimes, and that's one of the great things."

He added, "The music's not about love. Our songs are more about Richard The Lionheart, steel trains and thunder. But when you do click with a big audience, it can be quite an experience, a massive connection… I suppose you could say it is a religious experience in a way."

Byford stopped by the Metal Hammer office yesterday to celebrate the news that heavy metal was officially recognized as a U.K. religion and recorded a one-minute congratulatory video message, which can be seen below.

Tags:

Posted in: News

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).