Pew Research Center: U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

Oh dear it would appear that US Atheists and Agnostics know more about world religion than Christians:

The Pew Forum

Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.

On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively. Protestants as a whole average 16 correct answers; Catholics as a whole, 14.7. Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons perform better than other groups on the survey even after controlling for differing levels of education.

It does get slighter better with Christians out performing Atheists and Agnostics on, erm, Christianity:

On questions about Christianity – including a battery of questions about the Bible – Mormons (7.9 out of 12 right on average) and white evangelical Protestants (7.3 correct on average) show the highest levels of knowledge. Jews and atheists/agnostics stand out for their knowledge of other world religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism; out of 11 such questions on the survey, Jews answer 7.9 correctly (nearly three better than the national average) and atheists/agnostics answer 7.5 correctly (2.5 better than the national average). Atheists/agnostics and Jews also do particularly well on questions about the role of religion in public life, including a question about what the U.S. Constitution says about religion.

….continue reading

Further media links:

CNN – Don’t know much about religion? You’re not alone, study finds

New York Times – Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion

First Things – Americans are Religiously Illiterate

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3 Responses to “Pew Research Center: U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey”

  1. cnocspeireag Says:

    There was a short, 15 question quiz on one of the links, was this it? Most of the questions were absurdly simple, apart from #15, about a participant in the ‘first great awakening’, which was out of step with the other questions. Guess which one I got wrong?

  2. Are most self-proclaimed atheists converts from religion? | eChurch Christian Blog Says:

    [...] the recent Pew Survey which revealed atheists know more about world religion than Christians, I got to thinking why this [...]

  3. Sophie Says:

    I got 15 out of 15! (polishes nails)

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