Turkey’s religious body slams Star Wars cult

Legendary Jedi Master, Yoda, from the Star Wars films. (AP) Al Arabiya News

An article published by Turkey’s top religious authority warned of the spread of Jediism, a belief system affiliated with the Star Wars films, Hurriyet Daily News reported Monday.

The article, released in the monthly magazine of the Directorate of Religious Affairs’ (Diyanet), criticized Jediism and claimed that “thousands” around the world are identifying themselves as Jediis.

“Jediism … is spreading today in Christian societies. Around 70,000 people in Australia and 390,000 people in England currently define themselves as Jedis,” wrote Marmara University Assistant Professor Bilal Yorulmaz in the magazine.

The article by Yorulmaz comes months after “irreverent Turkish students raised their voices in online campaigns to build Jedi and Buddhist temples at their universities,” the newspaper reported.

Jediism, or beliefs adopted by the Jedi warriors in the Star Wars series, attracted public attention in 2001 when some fans decided to create their own faith and identified themselves as “Jedi.”