In 2010, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted a phone survey of over 3,000 Americans, asking them factual questions on a variety of topics, including religion. Eleven of those questions dealt with “world religions other than Christianity.”
Answers were tracked by the religion of those surveyed, showing that the group with the highest score on the world-religions questions were Jewish (with 7.9 correct answers), followed by Atheist/Agnostic (7.5) and Mormon (5.6). Catholics as a whole answered 4.7 questions correctly, while Protestants were right on 4.6.
To see how you compare, take a look at the 11 questions below. Do not click on the answer you choose (that will simply reload this page). Rather, hover your pointer over your selection and wait for the verdict to appear. Hovering over the correct answer will also show the percentage of participants in the original survey who answered correctly.
- Is Ramadan the Hindu festival of lights, the Islamic holy month, or a Jewish day of atonement?
- Do you happen to know the name of the holy book of Islam? (answer)
- Which religion aims at nirvana, the state of being free from suffering? Hinduism, Islam, or Buddhism?
- Is the Dalai Lama Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Catholic, or Mormon?
- In which religion are Vishnu and Shiva central figures? Taoism, Hinduism, or Islam?
- What is the religion of most people in India? Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, or Hindu?
- What is the religion of most people in Pakistan? Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or Christian?
- What is the religion of most people in Indonesia? Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist?
- Who is the king of Gods in Greek mythology? Mars, Zeus, or Apollo?
- When does the Jewish Sabbath begin? Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?
- Was Maimonides Catholic, Mormon, Buddhist, Jewish, or Hindu?
(“U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey,” The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, September 28, 2010)
[photo: “The Prayer,” by Connor Tarter, used under a Creative Commons license]
12 thoughts on “Pop Quiz: World Religions”
I got them all right! I would not have, even ten years ago. Living overseas forces you into new kinds of friendships, and with those friendships come new knowledge and opportunities for new ways of thinking. It’s the thing I miss most about settling down, even though life is so much easier in the USA.
Congrats! According to the Pew Forum results, you’re in pretty rare company.
One wrong… forgot who Maimonides was although should have known better… Thanks for sharing this!!
Well, at least you missed the hardest one. I happened to get that one right, but then I had to look up his name to see who he was.
I got them all right… Foreign friends and exposure to travel and culture make a huge difference… TY! :-)
Good job! Thanks for giving it a try.
Very interesting! I got ten out of eleven! I like how the quiz was set up in a way that readers could take it.
Great! Glad to know it worked for you.
I missed the Maimonides one, but that’s it. You have an above-average following of readers, it seems!
I knew you all were above average even before the quiz!
9/11, I guess in honor of 9/11 :-)
Better that than in honor of 7-Eleven