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People Who Know the Most about Religion Have Fewer Positive Views of Evangelical Christians, Study Finds

  • Amanda Casanova

    Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and…

  • 2019 Jul 24

new study found that people who know the most about religion have a less positive view of Evangelical Christians than those with less religious knowledge.

According to the Pew Research Center study, the people with the highest scores on Pew Research Center’s religious literacy quiz said they had worse views of evangelicals than other religions.

“Higher scores on the overall (32- point) religious knowledge scale tend to be associated with warmer evaluations of most religious groups,” the researchers wrote. “One exception to this pattern is evangelical Christians, who are rated most warmly by those at the low end of the religious knowledge scale.

Evangelicals were viewed on a warm/favorable to cool/unfavorable scale as a low 43 degrees. Meanwhile, Jews were rated 70 on the same scale.

The study also found that evangelical Protestants know more than the average American about the Bible and Christianity. Less said they knew more about other religious traditions around the world.

“It is crucial that evangelicals, both young and old, have accurate understandings of other religions. Insofar as Christians want to be fairly represented, so they need to do the same for others,” said Nijay Gupta, a Portland Seminary professor who has written about New Testament perspectives on interfaith relations.

“With social media and other online communication, the world is getting smaller and caricatures of any religion are easily deconstructed and dismissed.”

The Pew Research Center’s religious literacy quiz asked 32 questions about religious beliefs, practices, the Old and New Testament and religious demographics. Americans scored an average of 14.2 questions right. Evangelicals scored an average of 15.5 correct.

Among questions about non-Christian faiths and world religions, Evangelicals scored an average of 4 correct of 13 questions. Americans scored an average of 4.3 correct of the 13 questions.

You can take the quiz online here.

Photo courtesy: Priscilla du Preez/Unsplash