Yesterday the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released their findings from a study on religious knowledge in the United States. The test is a smattering of questions about the various major worldwide religions. Surprisingly, to me at least, self-described “Atheists and Agnostics” ended up scoring highest on the test while Christians were at the bottom. No group aced the test. Even the Atheists and Agnostics crowd only skated through with a solid D average.
Additionally, it seems that the Christians in the US have some educational gaps when it comes to their own religion. Only 55% of Americans knew that the Golden Rule isn’t part of the Ten Commandments; however, that number only went up to 67% when it came to White Protestants, and it was around 45% for Hispanic Catholics.
ABC News did a short video on the report in which they asked people on the streets some of the questions from the survey. It’s a lighthearted report, but some of the responses are a bit shocking to me:
Pew has a version of the Religious Knowledge test that you can take. They also let you compare yourself against the different segments of the population.
So, what do the results mean? I think it shows that the United States isn’t nearly as concerned with questions of faith and religion as it used to be. I’d also add that if there was any group that should have gotten 100% on this test it’s Christians. After all, we’re directly called to care for and love our neighbors. What better way to love our neighbor than to know the basic facts about what they believe?
What about you, how do you feel about the results of the survey? If you took the sample test on the Pew site, how did you do?