Earlier this year The PEW Forum surveyed about 3500 people here in the US to test knowledge of religion(s). The survey yielded very interesting results. From the most knowledge (correct answers) to the least, these were the rankings:
First: Atheists and Agnostics
Second: Jews and Mormons
Fourth: Roman Catholics
Here's how I read this; the enemies of religion in the US know more about religions than those who claim to be religious. Interesting!
There is one more thing you need to know; knowledge of things religious was significantly linked to the respondents level of education. That makes sense.
These were not simple questions. Many Jews did not know that Miamonides was an important figure in Jewish history. There was a significant number of Catholics who did not know that the bread and the wine were not just symbols of Christ but that their religion teaches that they become His very body and blood when the priest utters the words, Hoc est corpus meum and Christ Himself descends at the command of the priest.* About half the Protestants did not know that it was Martin Luther that first railed against Catholic teachings and rallied much of Europe (starting in Germany) to rebel against Rome.
So here's an Ed-designed self test for readers:
1. What religion speaks of the host?
2. Can you explain what is meant by immaculate conception?
3. What three religions arose almost simultaneously in the 1800's in the U.S?
4. What city does Islam hold to be most holy?
5. What two religious leaders in the world are also Heads of State?
6. Who was the man that vigorously opposed Luther regarding indulgences?
7. How many theses did Luther nail to the church door; and where?
8. What is the fastest growing religion in America?
9. What was the day, month, and year of Adventists great disappointment?
10.What is the reason for the war in Islam between Sunni and Shia?
Answers tomorrow; but first I have to look them up...if I remember (smile).
"Study to show thyself approved unto God; a workman that needeth not to be ashamed; rightly dividing the word of truth." [2Tim. 2:15]
What this means (to me) is that it is more important to know the Bible, and the God of the Bible, than it is to know mere facts about religion(s) and their teachings.
*For further reading: Dignities and Duties of the Priest. Saint Alphonsus Liguori