Science on Religion

Exploring the nexus of culture, mind & religion

Pew Forum Original Content

Religion & Public Life
  1. 2. Factors linked with religious knowledge
    Religious affiliation is just one of several factors linked with religious knowledge. The survey shows, for example, that religious knowledge is also very closely linked with how many years of schooling a person has received. In addition, a variety of other educational traits – such as making efforts to learn about one’s own religion or […]
  2. 1. Which religious groups know what about religion?
    Based on religious affiliation (or lack thereof), the groups that display the highest levels of religious knowledge on this survey include Jews (who get an average of 18.7 out of 32 questions correct), self-described atheists (17.9) and self-described agnostics (17.0). Looked at another way, seven-in-ten Jewish respondents (69%) answer at least half of the questions […]
  3. 3. How strongly are religious, social and demographic factors linked with religious knowledge?
    The results of the survey suggest that there are many traits that are linked with levels of religious knowledge. These include demographic factors, such as age and education, as well as religious affiliation. But which of these traits are strongly connected with greater knowledge, and which are related only tangentially, if at all? This chapter […]
  4. 4. Feelings toward religious groups
    The survey included some questions designed to see whether higher levels of religious knowledge tend to go hand in hand with more positive attitudes toward various religious groups. Overall, the answer is “yes.” In general, respondents who are highly knowledgeable about a religious group tend to express relatively warm feelings toward that group, and respondents […]
  5. Acknowledgments
    This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals. Find related reports online at pewresearch.org/religion. Primary Researchers Becka A. Alper, Research Associate Gregory A. Smith, Associate Director of Research Research Team Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research Besheer Mohamed, Senior Researcher Philip Schwadel, Senior Researcher Elizabeth Podrebarac Sciupac, […]
  6. Methodology
    This report is based on a survey conducted on Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP). The survey also included supplemental interviews with members of the Ipsos KnowledgePanel who identified as Jewish, Mormon, or Hispanic Protestant. The ATP and KnowledgePanel are national probability-based online panels of U.S. adults. Panelists participate via self-administered web surveys. On […]
  7. What Americans Know About Religion
    Before you read the report Test your religious knowledge by taking an interactive quiz. The short quiz includes some questions recently asked in the nationally representative survey that forms the basis of this report. After completing the quiz, you can see how you did in comparison with the general public and with people like yourself. […]
  8. Acknowledgments
    This report was produced by Pew Research Center as part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, which analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world. Funding for theGlobal Religious Futures project comes from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation. This report is a collaborative effort based on the […]
  9. 3. Middle East still home to highest levels of restrictions on religion, although levels have declined since 2016
    Government restrictions by region In 2017, the global median score on the Government Restrictions Index (GRI) remained stable at 2.8 – matching 2016 and staying at its highest point since the study began in 2007 (see Overview). The median score declined in three geographic regions (Middle East-North Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific), increased in Europe […]
  10. 1. Number of countries with ‘very high’ government restrictions on religion remains at highest levels since 2007
    Countries with the most extensive government restrictions on religion While most countries have some form of government restrictions involving religion, some countries stand out each year by having particularly high levels of these restrictions. This subset of states may have some similarities with countries in the lower categories of restrictions – for example, both may […]
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