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How Knowledgeable Are Americans about Religion?

The Pew Forum’s religious knowledge survey, conducted in 2010, found that Americans have a somewhat limited knowledge of religion. The average respondent correctly answered only 16 of the 32 questions, which covered topics such as the Bible, Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, world religions, religion in public life, atheism, and agnosticism. Slightly less than half of Christian respondents could name all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

Mormons and white evangelical Protestants fared the best on that question. More than 70 percent of those respondents knew the right answer. Only 17% of Jewish respondents answered the Gospels question correctly.

Who knows what about religion?

  • Of the 3,412 people who participated in the survey, only eight test-takers got a perfect score.

  • At least 8 out of 10 Americans know that teachers are not allowed to lead public school classes in prayer, that an “atheist” is someone who does not believe in God, and that Mother Teresa was Catholic.

  • The three groups that performed the best? Atheists and agnostics (an average of 20.9% correct), Jews (20.5%), and Mormons (20.3%).

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More Info: Pew Research Center

Discuss this Article

anon996974
Post 2

The author of this article is either an islamophobe is very ignorant about what a religion is. In using the word 'religion' the author should have at least mentioned Islam by name. He/She didnt.

anon996973
Post 1

I think the British are pretty knowledgeable in biblical saints, due in part to the childhood rhymes narrated whilst using a skipping rope!

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