Most Americans can define atheists, Easter; don’t know US share of Muslims, Jews

Religion News Service | 7/23/2019 | Staff
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WASHINGTON (RNS) — Most Americans know what an atheist is and why Christians celebrate Easter.

Three in 10 overestimate the percentage of U.S. adults who are Jewish or Muslim.

State - Vedas - Hindu - Scriptures

But few could state that the Vedas are prominent Hindu scriptures.

A new report on American religious literacy released on Tuesday (July 23) by Pew Research Center reveals some of what Americans do and don’t tend to know about their own faiths and others.

Example - Adults - Protestantism - Catholicism - Salvation

“I was struck, for example, that just 1 in 5 American adults knows that Protestantism, not Catholicism, traditionally teaches that salvation comes through faith alone,” said Greg Smith, associate director of research at Pew and one of the primary researchers for the report. “I was struck that only about a quarter of Americans know that Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.”

The report was based on a survey of 10,971 respondents who answered online multiple-choice questions about religion.

Percent - Americans - Atheist - Someone - God

Eighty-seven percent of Americans surveyed correctly responded that an atheist is someone who does not believe in God. Eight in 10 know that Christians celebrate their belief in Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday and that Moses is the biblical figure most closely associated with the exodus of Jews from Egypt.

But less than 1% of respondents got a perfect score on the 32 survey questions centered on the Bible; elements of Christianity, Judaism and other world religions; atheism and agnosticism; and religion and public life.

Pew - Past - Jews - % - US

Pew has estimated in the past that Jews make up about 2.2% of the U.S. adult population and Muslims about 1.1%. But the survey found that more than half of Americans surveyed are not sure of the U.S. population size of those faith groups. Just one quarter of U.S. adults correctly said Muslims comprise less than 5% of the population and 19% correctly said Jews account for less than 5% of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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