Pew Forum quiz on religious knowledge

A recent post on Pharyngula points to a religious knowledge quiz from the Pew Forum. It contains 15 questions from a more extensive survey that was conducted on a representative sample of US adults. It’s an old quiz but it’s still interesting and allows people a chance to see how good their religious knowledge is. Continue reading


The world’s Muslims: religion, politics and society part 2

This follows on from my earlier post: The world’s Muslims: religion, politics and society part 1.

Regarding sex, we find most Muslims regard abortion (50-99%, not counting Azerbaijan at 23%), sex outside marriage (53-99%) and homosexual behaviour (67-99%) to be immoral. Opinions on divorce and polygamy varied greatly by geography. There generally wasn’t a majority support for honour killings but it was a disturbingly high minority that felt they were sometimes or often justified. Related to the sex is the notion of gender equality.

In some Muslim countries women are treated as inferior to men with Saudi Arabia having some of the most restrictive laws on what women may or may not do. The issue of women’s rights has also recently been debated in the Afghan parliament with some demanding the law be changed so that a husband cannot be prosecuted for rape within the marriage. Continue reading

The world’s Muslims: religion, politics and society part 1

This serves as a follow up to one of my previous posts, Necessary criticism is not “Islamophobia,” where I gave a briefly discussed the accusations of Islamophobia levelled at some atheists and maintained that it’s not Islamophobic to be concerned about, and criticise, certain ideologies. In addition, I showed the real-world problems certain interpretations of Islam could cause, using events in Bangladesh as an example.

Following on that there are two links I learned of through WEIT that are worth reading. One is from an ex-Muslim who gives his perspective on Islamophobia. Continue reading

Religious/Atheist surveys: results and looking for participants

The Pew Forum released it’s report on The Global Religious Landscape, with data pulled from a variety of different surveys taken all around the world, a few days ago. I’ve only read through the executive summary but it looks like the report contains all sorts of maps and numbers to satisfy anyone’s curiosity. According to current data, the biggest religious group is Christian (31,5%), Muslim (23,2%), unaffiliated (16,3%) and Hindus (15%). No other group had more than 10%. The unaffiliated are not necessarily atheist though as it includes people who are religious but not part of any organised religion. I’m not sure if the full report has more information on the prevalence of atheism or not but there are two projects I’m aware of that are trying to look global atheism in more detail. Continue reading