There are over 28,000 registered charities in New Zealand. To register, the organisation must show that it has a charitable purpose; to relieve poverty, advance education, advance religion or be beneficial to the community. But some examples make you wonder.
The ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’, is an organisation that is legally recognised as a religion in New Zealand. The church is based not on a foundation of evidence, but of community, as told by those who have been touched by his ‘noodly appendage’. Despite its light-hearted nature, the church exposed some real issues as to the legitimacy of some organisations that apply for charitable status.
In 2015, the U.S. government recognised Jediism as an international ministry. However, the Temple of the Jedi Order was refused charitable status in the U.K. because it was not primarily focused on charitable purposes. Or is the U.K. less ‘charitable’?
Iglesia Maradoniana is a religion that was formed to worship Diego Maradona, the late Argentine football player. The religion includes 10 commandments that include the ball is never soiled, honour the temples where he played and his sacred shirts, and love football above all else.