The hot topic of discussion at yesterday’s God in America National Symposium on Religious Literacy held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. were the results of the U.S. Religious Knowledge survey conducted by the Pew Forum. From Pew’s executive summary:
“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.
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.
Take the Religious Knowledge survey of 15 questions. And share your results with us. Of course, we want to know how you scored, but we’re also curious to hear about the questions that made you seriously pause and think, or the questions you breezed through and then got wrong.