I have to confess, when I heard a brief story on WBBM Newsradio 78 last week citing data that show religious people don’t know some basic facts about their religion, I was not surprised. I was sad, but not surprised.
The story was based on a survey by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. There is an online version of the survey that asks 15 multiple-choice questions about not just Christianity, but other popular religions. You can take the online quiz yourself here.
When you complete the quiz, you’re taken to a page that shares the overall results of the more extensive survey, as well as results by religious affiliation. Honestly, those results were not that surprising either. It was interesting to see, in black-and-white, what my online atheist friends have been telling me, in this forum and other places where we’ve had passionate dialogue: A lot of Christians don’t know much about what they say they believe.
Dare to share your results
If you take the survey, would you be willing to post your score in the comments? I’m willing because my score was 100%! I credit that score not only to my Christian upbringing, which included daily Bible reading, but also to my later work with the Bible League, which gave me opportunities to interact with Christians around the world who had been raised as Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, whatever, and who were introduced to Jesus and began following his way instead.
If you’re a Christian, tell me if you think it’s important to know things about other religions.
If you’re an atheist, tell me why you think atheists score so well on this test of religious knowledge. Is it because most atheists have come out of some kind of religious background? Or perhaps because they are not aligned with any one religion, so they have opportunities to learn more about all of them?
And no matter what religion you are, I’d like your opinion on this: Did the quiz ask the right questions? I mean, are those the things we should know about our religion? What questions would you have asked instead?