Heavy Metal Officially A Religion

The genre has been recognised as a serious religious belief in the UK after results from the 2011 census have been revealed.

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Heavy Metal has officially been recognised as a religion in the UK.

Results for the 2011 census have just been published, and a campaign by MetalHammer and rockstars like Saxon's Bill Byford helped rally an effort to get Heavy Metal recognised as a belief.

Now it's officially a bigger religion that scientology, druidism, shamanism and other well-established beliefs, thanks to 6,000 metal-loving Brits.

The Jedi Knights were more successful, though, with 176,000 people jokingly listing it as their religion.

Interestingly, Christianity has shot down to 59% of the UK population, compared to 72% who listed it as their religion in 2001. People with no religion represent 25% of the country compared to 15% ten years ago, according to the Guardian.

But there may be one tangible side effect of these joke entries on the official UK census.

Religious authorities are likely to bundle the "joke" religions into one global figure for people with religious beliefs. The effect is that more government money will be spent on religion, which probably wasn't the intention of the census pranksters.

What do you think of the decline in serious religious beliefs? Is it fitting that heavy metal has been recognised as a belief in the country it was born? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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139 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SocksAndTrees
    The Jedi Knights were more successful, though, with 176,000 people jokingly listing it as their religion. Clearly UG is just upset that I am force sensitive, and it is not.
    phili666
    yeah, according to UG its a joke when its another pop culture reference than heavy metal but when it's metal its super duper serious.
    kslater22
    thats cause im pretty sure people actually seriously do consider metal to be a religion...and when you think about it, it pretty much is a religion. we worship our "gods" just as any other religion, but the difference is our gods actually exist. "maiden and priest are the gods that we praise" -Sum 41
    phili666
    except metal isn't supposed to be a religion and saying that goes against the whole point of the music and the subculture. its about not fitting in or flocking together after one thing. its similar to religion in the sense that people who only listen to meta can be simpleminded idiots. listening to only one genre is retarded
    kslater22
    im pretty sure thats exactly what its about, at least thats what it is for me. its something that sets me aside from everyone else, and its something that me and fellow metalheads unite over. we come to concerts and gather to worship our gods...sounds like religion to me
    kslater22
    but just cause im a die hard metalhead doesnt mean i dont listen to anything else. i dont consider myself close minded about music, i'll give any music a try. no guarantees that i'll like it though
    lithium_boy
    your quote was acceptable until u had to bring sum 41 into this.. shame on you good sir!
    kslater22
    i feel that it was perfectly acceptable to bring sum 41 into this given the lyric i used
    AnnihilationUK
    This is stupid as f*ck. We're slowly turning good music into a joke.
    TJWhonley
    i put heavy metal on my form!!! how would i get married now? in a circle pit @ download festival?
    lithium_boy
    YES!!!! if you do please film it and send me the link, that would be interesting to say the least.
    Wininacan
    This is a silly notion, it just shows that people are leaving silly ideas behind and accepting things more important to them, Music.
    ChickenSalad
    Heavy Metal = good music Religion = joke Hm, this man is right. But all kidding aside, I think this is cool. A humorous way to make fun of the whole religion registration bullshit.
    DexterF
    Disagree. It merely shows that thinking people declare their creed what they deemed worthy and not what random people imposed on them after parroting it themselves just because "it's always been like this", which is utterly stupid. Think tongue in cheek.
    Dostoyevskian
    No, just heavy metal
    TheNumber6
    well with how metal is these days its only a matter of time before the churches of metalcore, grindcore, deathcore, applecore, supercore, extremelyobscurecore and melodic death metal start breaking off and forming their own religions.
    mizerama
    Well, since -core genres aren't actually metal...
    metalhead983877
    How are they not?
    Dethsoldier101
    cause they dont end with metal duh! e.g Power metal, thrash metal, death metal, black metal, heavy metal, glam metal, speed metal, metal metal, gore metal, sludge metal, doom metal, progressive metal, etc.
    Kixur
    By this logic 'Iron', 'Platinum', 'Gold', etc aren't metal.....
    qrEE
    No Crabcore or Crunkcore. And you call yourself a REAL religious devotee...
    geor4ge
    i put metal as my religion ireland.... lol guess was the only one. but sure **** it.... don't give a **** about religion. more a fan of metal. it is making a big deal of nothing. all that it is just ink in a stupid box for the country to know shit.... i also said i had a young Cambodian boy in the cellar!
    mrozzy123fest
    i dont see anything wrong with it as religion does cause a lot of problems with people as its just another way to seperate people. and also i really doubt this will last but its cool to see so many people into metal (as im a die hard thrasher)
    jamie_hough
    I know I'm supposed to be all like "Woah cool thats hilarious!", but honestly, as an avid British metal fan, I find this embarassing.
    Edamr
    It's not officially a religion. All that's happened is a certain number of people have listed it as such on the census. That's not the same as official religion status. It holds the same status as scientology; you can claim it'syour religion, but the government does not recognise it as such and therefore certain taxbreaks are not available as they would be to genuine religious institutions.
    the_modfather
    It's funny. It's good there's a decline in serious religion. People listing heavy metal and jedi etc as their religion only show that it doesn't matter.
    Kriggs
    As long as they keep taking percentage points from religion, I'm a happy man.
    TheEmpyrean
    As much as I think this is hilarious, there's a part of me which is annoyed that the 7000 people who wrote Heavy Metal and the 170000+ people who wrote Jedi Knight aren't actually counting towards the non-religious or atheist/agnostic percentage. Because the larger the latter percentage is, the smaller the strength of the Christian church in Britain. Which can only be a good thing.
    schirripar
    There is a difference between a lifestyle and a religion.
    dial-a-death
    So where does Buddhism fall?
    Axl_Styx1
    It's a philosophy. There is no God or higher being that is worshiped. It's a lifestyle in the same way that being a metal fan is
    Tonganation
    It's still a religion. There doesn't have to be a supernatural element to meet the definition of religion. Buddhism fosters a community, has accepted tenents and rituals, and a central orthodoxy uniting believers in their lifestyle. There is a large philosophical element (like most religions), but it shares more traits with religion than a school of philosophy in my opinion. Actually, Heavy Metal fulfills a good amount of the criteria I listed, all except the central orthodoxy and tenents.
    TheExterminator
    Anyone who thinks Buddhism is just a philosophy has seriously fallen for delusionally romanticized view the West has made for it. It's as much of a religion as any other religion. It has its moronic beliefs, it has its moronic followers, and it has its extremists.
    iommi600
    Ah well, I don't think it's gonna change anything anyway... I find it kind of stupid, but not to the point of hating it.
    PeterPdeC
    It's as if the world of Metalocalypse is coming true, and Brendan Small will be the leader.
    Theophillis
    This is hilarious!!!! Don't take it so seriously folks! In the immortal words of Devin Townsend, "We're grown men up on stage going ROOWWAAAARRAAAHHHHH!!!! What's to take seriously?"
    vIsIbleNoIsE
    i don't even know anything about the guy before Deconstruction apart from his skullet, but he's always correct.
    HAZ-121
    This is hilarious! I'm sure some people will try to take it too far but oh well, at least it won't be as ridiculous as some other religions that I won't mention. looking at you Tom Cruise .
    Tonganation
    I'm now waiting for the Great Metal Schism, where Extreme Metalheads declare their metal is the only true metal and persecute the listeners of false metal.
    BigRed_420
    I honestly don't see why people are so adament in their anti-theism. Im refering to alot of the comments saying things like their glad to see peoples beliefs in a decline. Why does it matter to you?
    Tonganation
    Well, antitheists see religion as false (and often harmful) and think it's bad for people to believe false things. They'd like to see a more rational society develop and they see people moving away from religion as a way towards that. I don't self-identify as an antitheist, but my views lean in that direction.
    TheExterminator
    The fact that this is the 21st century and people are still gullible, superstitious bastards who believe in 2000-year old fairytales should be very concerning for anyone who cares about the future of the human race.
    Zan595
    I feel like some (if not most) UG readers post oppositions to articles just for the sake of disagreeing with what they see. Guys, really..."Metal" and "Jedi Knight" as recognized religions? That's hilarious, stop kidding yourselves by saying "0h w311 th1s is em4razz33ng t0 m4nk1nd" and trying to be that prick that always disagrees with the popular opinion and view things from their "higher" veiw point. To those of you who honestly beleive this is dumb; disregaurd this, you're entitled to your opinion when it's actually what you beleive.
    IWasMaiden93
    So obviously fans of bands like Black Sabbath and Priest are the orthodox sects, does that make extreme metal bands the fundamentalist sects that burn down opposing churches and bands like Cre the protestant since the fans love it besides being hated by the other sects? I guess I'm an orthodox metal protestant
    HarrySound
    Also this cencus shows that 1/8 people in britain are not born here. There are 1 million more muslims. British white people are now officially in the minority in London.
    Gerbilman
    This is tragic. I'm not religious, but I find it insulting that people cannot be sensible when completing a survey about religion, which is of incomparable significance to anything else in believers' lives.
    mastodude13
    Well metal is of incomparable significance to my life and people insult that all the time. F--- them.
    Camron62\m/
    i agree, like some christians, i'm all about what i love. in this case it's metal and not God. not saying i'm anti-God or religion or anything. i am not an ignorant person, but i would love to join a church of heavy metal. i think it's a cool idea, no matter how ridiculous.
    mastodude13
    Yeah, is it that much more ridiculous than scientology or mormonism? I don't think there should be a literal church obviously but people should be more open to the idea of this. Its all about what inspires you and where you "find God" which is in my case metal.
    mastodude13
    And I don't mean to put down mormanism or scientology, I'm just saying to each his own.
    TheExterminator
    You just had to compare this idea to Scientology and Mormonism to justify it, how can that not set off red flags in your mind as to how stupid this idea is?
    Abacus11
    Well, Heavy Metal makes more sense than any organized religion out there so why not... It's also hurt less people and done more good for the world than any of the established religions.
    Skuzzmo
    "Religious authorities are likely to bundle the "joke" religions into one global figure for people with religious beliefs. The effect is that more government money will be spent on religion, which probably wasn't the intention of the census pranksters." Yay! Way to go.....
    Camron62\m/
    dude, gathering at a church to talk about heavy metal and headbang, mosh and shit? i'd go!
    gibsonfan21
    I find parody religions like Pastafarianism and the Church of the Invisible Pink Unicorn really amusing. I've always loved satire.
    guitaristguy
    I suppose this doesn't sound any more ridiculous than talking snakes and a talking dead guy.
    437
    All this really means is that people are getting wise to the lies!
    RUs1
    This is stupid. I don't like religion. Some people take themselves so seriously Let's like the music and that is all, why is there a need for religion, metal was supposed to be the thing that challenges narrow minded religion(as if there is an open one). We can have a community without religion =)
    martijnsurf
    i wonder who will be the god of metal then?
    Camron62\m/
    Remember? Ozzy Osbourne won that poll off that website? He's like, the king now of heavy metal or something.
    kslater22
    dio can be jesus, i feel like that would be appropriate, or maybe tony iommi
    circus musician
    Can people really not tell that this is a joke? It's just people taking the piss out of religion, which tells people who the read the census what we think of religion. We think it's ridiculous and shouldn't be taken seriously.