A survey of Americans shows that atheists know more about major religions than any other group. In fact, Jews, agnostics, and Mormons even out performed Protestants and Catholics. The survey asked 32 questions covering basics of many religions including Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
It’s tempting to blame the poor performance of Christians on the bubble effect. Most people in this country get very little exposure to other religions. It’s not a topic emphasized at school, and it’s not a popular self-study topic either. Although the fact that 45% of Catholics didn’t know that the Eucharist becomes the body and blood of Christ indicates there’s more sleeping going on during mass than most priests might have imagined.
It’s also not surprising that atheists did well on this survey. Most atheists are not such out of ignorance. Rather, it is the spot arrived at after a journey through many schools of religious thought. Ironically perhaps, the more you know about all religions, the harder it is to believe in any one of them.