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Americans Struggle to Understand Others Beliefs


As part of the PBS series "God in America," Ray Suarez looks at what Americans know and don't know about religion and each other.

In conjunction with "God in America" producers, the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life surveyed Americans' religious literacy. It revealed that most Americans lack a basic knowledge of religion, their own and their neighbors'.

Pew asked 32 questions about religious belief and religious history. The average person got just 16 answers right, just half. Of the 3,400 people who took the test, just eight got all the answers right. About 70 percent knew Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But only 47 percent knew the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist. Just over half could identify the Koran as the holy book of Islam.

At a panel sponsored by Pew and the producers of "God in America," I asked Boston University professor and religious literacy advocate Stephen Prothero, so what? Why does it matter? What would change if people knew more about, let's say, Islam?


Please click on "external source" to access the video, complete with the transcript of this interesting interview.

Remember that Jesus was a student of mankind, and also of the religions that mankind practiced. It would be helpful for all of us to know more about, and to be more tolerant of others' religions. There is likely a germ of truth in all of them, and a commonality that can help to bridge the gaps in dogma.

Link to External Source Article

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