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Saturday, December 11, 2010

How Much Do You Know About Religion?

The Pew Research Foundation surveyed 3412 Americans on general religious knowledge between May 19 and June 6, 2010. How does your knowledge base compare with the average American? You can take a test to find out at

This study found that, on average, atheists and agnostics did best on this test of religious knowledge, closely followed by Jews and Mormons. Protestants did less well, and Catholics even lower.

Educational level was the single best predictor for general religious knowledge, and other good predictors were reading Scripture (and religious commitment in general), and talking about religious ideas with others.

For what it's worth, I answered 15 out of 15 questions correctly, which puts me in the 99th percentile of Americans. I found the questions basic and easy, since I love this stuff and read/discuss it extensively. It probably isn't fair to have me compete with the "average" since I'm certainly not average in my interest level.

On the other hand, I believe that "Who Is God? (if He even exists)" is the single most important issue that anyone ever faces. Life is good, but even if you live for 120 years, and earn more money than Bill Gates, you still die.

Where do you go after that? Heaven? Hell? Are you simply stuck in the ground and your body chemicals recycled for the next generation?

I came to my faith through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus, and believe there are really true and really false answers to the questions: Who is God? How do we get to know Him? What does He want?

If you're interested, take a look at my website at, where I discuss my faith journey from a skeptic to a Christian. And if you have any questions, or disagree with me, feel free to drop me a line! As I mentioned, I love this stuff and appreciate honest questions and/or a good debate.


Jane Lebak said...

This Catholic got 15/15. :-) But those were ridiculously simple questions and I have a difficult time understanding why most people wouldn't have been able to answer them.

Amy Deardon said...

You go! Philangelus, I thought of you while reading those stats, and never doubted for a second you'd break the pattern.

They WERE simple questions. It's scary how much we, as a society, have lost of our religious knowledge base. I read classics like Shakespeare or Jane Eyre or Dracula, and the Biblical references come thick and fast. Modern readers might go past without even realizing they're missing something. I wonder for kids who have these works for assigned reading, if there are school teachers who can elucidate these references, or would even feel comfortable doing so?