Friday, January 29, 2010

Heavy metal fans keep the faith

Rock fans are being urged to keep the faith - by registering their religion as 'heavy metal' in the next census.

The campaign, launched by Metal Hammer magazine, has already attracted nearly 10,000 followers to a Facebook group.

In the last census, a similar campaign led to 390,000 UK residents listing their religion as Jedi. Saxon frontman Biff Byford, who would become the faith's 'world metal peace ambassador', is backing the campaign.

He said: "Getting heavy metal recognised as a religion is a great bit of rebellion, isn't it? This really is going to be a very cool thing."

Although the 2001 campaign drew a large level of support, with more people listing themselves as Jedis than Sikhs, the Office For National Statistics pointed out at the time that this did not make it an official religion.

In fact, Jedis were actually counted under the category of 'no religion' - however the campaign was credited with boosting the number of census responses from younger adults.

Alexander Milas, editor of Metal Hammer, told Gigwise: "Ever since Black Sabbath made their debut 40 years ago heavy metal has grown to become one of the UK's most significant cultural institutions, and a global phenomenon.

"Hell, if the Jedi can do it, why can't metalheads? The force is strong in us."

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