Americans with a high level of religious knowledge have a warmer view of Jews, Catholics, mainline Protestants and Buddhists than they have of evangelical Christians and are least warm to Muslims and atheists, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.
The findings of the What Americans Know About Religion study came from a survey that asked nearly 11,000 U.S. adults questions on a variety of religious topics.
Some of the survey questions were used to examine whether Americans with higher levels of religious knowledge had more positive attitudes toward various religious groups. In general, it was found that the more people know about a particular religion, the higher they would rate it on a thermometer scale ranging from zero to 100.
When it comes to evangelicals, however, respondents reflected an exception to that trend.
“One notable exception to this pattern is evangelical Christians. Respondents who answer at least 25 religious knowledge questions rate evangelicals more coolly (43 degrees, on average) than those who correctly get eight or fewer questions right (53 degrees). The survey also shows little connection between overall levels of religious knowledge and views of Mormons and Catholics, once demographic factors are taken into account,” Pew reports.
The favorability ranking given to each religion does not include respondents who identify as adherents, only respondents whose knowledge of each religion was assessed through a series of questions asked by Pew.
Generally, respondents in the survey expressed the most warmth for Jews compared to other religions ranked.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair