Ahead of the 2011 census...
Scott Colothan

17:17 18th January 2010

Saxon vocalist Biff Byford is figure-heading a campaign to get heavy metal recognised as a religion in the UK.

Byford has teamed up with Metal Hammer Magazine for a campaign urging British rock fans to adopt heavy metal as their 'religion' ahead of the 2011 census.

At the last census nine years ago, 390,127 people in England & Wales and a further 14,052 in Scotland stated 'Jedi' as their religion thanks to a massive internet campaign.

It was ultimately ranked as the fourth most popular religion in the UK behind Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.

In 2011, it may be heavy metal's turn.

Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas 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."

Biff Byford added: “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.”

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