A NEW survey in the US has found that, while Â Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, they are also lamentably ignorant about the faiths they profess.
According to this report, researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions.
On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flunked questions about their own faith.
Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, but two religious minorities – Jews and Mormons – also did quite well.
That finding might surprise some, but not Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, an advocacy group for non-believers founded by the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who was murdered.
I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people. Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.
Among the more startling findings were:
â– Fifty-three per cent of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the man who started the Protestant Reformation.
â– Forty-five per cent of Catholics did not know that their church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are not merely symbols but actually become the body and blood of Christ.