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US evangelicals fare better than other American Christians when quizzed on Bible, poll reveals

The survey called, 'What Americans Know About Religion' asked nearly 11,000 American adults about their knowledge of world religions, the Bible, Christianity and Judaism.

The results revealed that most Americans are familiar with some of the basics of Christianity and the Bible, and even a few facts about Islam. But far fewer U.S. adults are able to correctly answer factual questions about Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, and most do not know what the U.S. Constitution says about religion as it relates to elected officials.

In addition, large majorities of Americans are unsure (or incorrect) about the share of the U.S. public that is Muslim or Jewish, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that quizzed nearly 11,000 U.S. adults on a variety of religious topics.

The survey asked 32 fact based multiple-choice questions that "span a spectrum of difficulty." 

The survey found that Jews, atheists, agnostics, evangelical Protestants, highly educated people and those with religiously diverse social networks seem to have higher levels of religious knowledge. Meanwhile, young adults and racial minorities seemed to have less knowledge about religion than the average respondent. 

When looking specifically at questions dealing with the Bible and Christianity, the survey found that evangelical Protestants, on average, answered 9.3 out of 14 questions correctly, a higher average than respondents grouped in other categories of Christians. 

On average, Christians answered 8.2 out of the 14 questions on the Bible and Christianity correctly, while mainline Protestants averaged 8.1 correct answers, historically black Protestants averaged 6.0 correct answers. Catholics averaged 7.9 correct answers and Mormons averaged 8.5 correct answers.

When trying to answer questions about other world religions (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and global religious demography), Christian respondents did not fare as well as Jews, atheists, and agnostics. 

Christians averaged 14.2 correct answers out of 32, with evangelicals finishing with the highest average of any Christian category with 15.8 correct answers. 

"Among Christians, knowledge of the Bible and Christianity is closely linked both with the amount of effort respondents say they invest in learning about their faith and with their religious background," the Pew analysis claimed.

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