By Joseph C. DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
WASHINGTON D.C. (Worthy News)-- A recent survey testing Americans' knowledge of religion found that non-Christians did better than Christians in answering questions about major faiths, while many could not even explain their own faith.
The survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life tested the entire spectrum of religious knowledge, but though the U.S. is one of the most religious nations on earth, Americans knew very little about religion.
Ironically, Mormons scored highest on questions about Christianity, followed by white evangelicals; Jews, atheists and agnostics all knew the most about other faiths, yet less than half knew that the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist.
Nearly half of the Roman Catholics surveyed didn't know about transubstantiation, e.g., that by faith, the bread and wine used in the sacrament of Holy Communion becomes the body and blood of Christ.
More than half of all Protestants surveyed didn't know Martin Luther's role in the Reformation, and almost half of all Jews surveyed didn't recognize Maimonides, one of the world's greatest rabbis, as one of their own faith.
Those surveyed were asked 32 questions; on average, participants correctly answered about half of the questions, with atheists and agnostics scoring highest, followed by Jews and Mormons; Protestants and Catholics nearly tied for last place, with 16 and 15 correct answers, respectively.
Participants who claimed they regularly attended worship and considered religion important perfomed better overall, but one's level of education was the best indicator of religious knowledge: the top survey scorers had the highest level of schooling.
The study also found that many Americans didn't grasp the role religion played in public schools: while most knew that teachers cannot lead their classes in prayer, less than 25 percent knew that teachers can use the Bible as literature.
"Many Americans think the constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools are tighter than they really are," wrote Pew researchers.