Test your religious knowledge

The Christian Science Monitor has reproduced the 32-question survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life to gauge people’s knowledge of religion.

According to the Pew results:

On average, Americans got 16 of the 32 questions correct. Atheists and agnostics got an average of 20.9 correct answers. Jews (20.5) and Mormons (20.3). Protestants got 16 correct answers on average, while Catholics got 14.7 questions right.

Of those who took this test at the CSM website, the average correct score was higher, at 85% or 27.2 questions. This makes sense, I suppose. Only people who are interested in religion will bother to take a religion quiz.

It is a fairly low-level test and I was able to get all of them right.


  1. A Hermit says

    Not too challenging. 100% easily.

    I also got 100% on the US citizenship test there. Not bad for a socialistic heathen from Soviet Canuckistan…

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    Guessed right on First Great Awakening, other questions very easy, although I was fuzzy on Catholic salvation doctrine. Now it’s time for my Second Great Cuppa Tea.

  3. Guy in a Tank says

    30/32. Was in two minds about the salvation issue and chose wrong; the 1st great awakening is not something I know a lot about. Otherwise very basic stuff.

  4. Trebuchet says

    31/32 – How the heck did I miss the one on Maimonides?

    That’s me as well. I didn’t even remember seeing “Jewish” among the options or I might have gotten it.

  5. mordred says

    Got bored about halfway through… Anyways wondering about the question about Nirvana, doesn’t this concept originate from Hinduism? The correct answer according the quiz was Buddhism, but I thought Hinduism should also be correct. Or does my rather superficial knowledge of Indian culture prove insufficient here?

  6. Menyambal says

    I aced it when it was online the first time, by guessing right on the Awakening question.

    This one, I giggled when on 3 or 4, it asked if you happened to know, and none of the answers were yes. But the agnostic question didn’t have belief in unknowability, then covered that in the answer page, BUT it said there that atheism is a belief that god does not exist. So I bailed.

  7. kyoseki says

    31/32 here too, I do not know your American evangelists.

    … and the test was rather more a case of “what’s the commonly accepted answer for this question” rather than “what’s the correct answer for this question”

  8. Doug Little says

    Shit I hardly know anything about religion and I got 29 right. The only one I had no clue at all about was the Awakening one. The Catholic salvation got me as well and I got the Jewish person’s religion wrong.

  9. Reginald Selkirk says

    100%. Only a few were tough.
    I was unsure about Indonesia.
    I happened to read something about the Great Awakening just last week.

    I thought their question about salvation through faith alone was iffy; it’s always tough to generalize about Protestant Christians because there is such a variety.

  10. Reginald Selkirk says

    Rob Grigjanis #8: … although I was fuzzy on Catholic salvation doctrine.

    Catholic doctrine can be summarised as: “obey the Catholic hierarchy, and give them money. The rest is negotiable.”

  11. Mano Singham says

    @Al Dente,

    That is the most esoteric question of the lot. I just happened to know it because I had had a conversation with a professor of religious studies where he mentioned it.

  12. MNb says

    As I am not American, so didn’t know what the Great Awakening is, I had question 29 wrong.

  13. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Count me another who got the Great Awakening wrong and everything else right.

  14. sailor1031 says

    100%. This is not a religion test but a general knowledge test.

    Ibis & Hermit: score 100% on US citizenship for this canadian too.

  15. steffp says

    @mordred #12
    Most experts agree that nirvana is a Buddhist concept, although it is mentioned in the (Hindu) Bhagavad Gita and supposedly pre-Buddhist Jain texts, too. The concept of moksha may be comparable, though not identical, as it usually presupposes a deity to unite with.

    @sailor1031 #22
    I agree, And a pretty local one, considering the pretty low impact of revivalist action in the colonies, 1730 to 43. No one thought it was important until 100 years later (1842) Joseph Tracy claimed that emotionalizing and Hellfire-preaching as a precursor to the American Revolution. Barton s not the first…

  16. DonDueed says

    31/32. I actually marked the nirvana question right, then overthought it and changed it from Buddhism to Hinduism.

    Anyhow, it’s probably not too surprising that this preachers’ kid turned atheist would know a bit about religion.

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