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Mainline Protestants, Catholics don't do well on religion facts

By Doug Published: September 29, 2010

A study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that Protestants and Catholics don't score as well on tests about world religions as do Atheists, Jews and Mormons.

The test, which also measured understanding of religion and the U.S. Constitution, showed that Mormons and Evangelical Protestants score best on questions about Christianity, while mainline Portestants and Catholics did significantly worse.

A New York Times story on the study said:

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, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.

On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.

The Times story summarizing the report can be found here.

The actual study is available on the Pew Web site. A New York Times religion test can be found here.

John C. Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, will address "The Faith Factor: Religion and Politics in 2010," on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at The College of Wooster. Green, who specializes in the study of religion and politics, political parties, and campaign finance, is a Senior Fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
He is the author of The Faith Factor: How Religion Influences American Elections and co-author of The Bully Pulpit: The Politics of Protestant Clergy; Religion and the Culture Wars: Dispatches From the Front; and The Diminishing Divide: Religion's Changing Role in American Politics. In addition, he is co-editor of The State of the Parties, Multiparty Politics in America, and Financing the 1996 Election.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.). Additional information is available by phone (330-263-2306) or e-mail (



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