Can We Guess How Religious You Are, on a Scale of 1–10?

By: Elisabeth Henderson

Can We Guess How Religious You Are, on a Scale of 1–10?
Image: SrdjanPav/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Religion either polarizes people or brings them together. People tend to see religion as a way to come together in community or view it as an excuse for people to judge others. Religion dominates political debates, as the moral foundation offered to argue for legislation, at the same time that freedom of and from religion is viewed as crucial to democracy. Although this aspect of identity and perspective holds such a central place in cultural life, many believe it’s foolish to bring up religion at the dinner table. Harsh words fly; tensions rise; the food gets cold. 

But most people know that there are many different ways of being religious. A person may have been raised in a Christian home, identify vaguely with being Christian, yet not have set foot in a church for 20 years. Or, someone may reject all formal religions, yet spend hours each week in ecstatic meditation, aware of an all-encompassing presence. According to the Pew survey of the American religious landscape, 70.6% of Americans identify as Christian, 5.9% follow a religion other than Christianity, 22.8% claim no religious affiliation, and .6% say they don’t know. 

How much of your religious beliefs come into your day-to-day life? Can we guess where you land in the religious spectrum by finding out about your daily practices and beliefs about the nature of life? We think so! Are you a believer? Let’s find out the truth with this quiz! 

1 Making a desicion If you were trying to decide whether or not to marry someone, what would you do?
Decide based on feelings and reason
Pray about it and decide based on how I feel
Pray about it and wait for guidance
Ask a religious leader for guidance

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2 Centering self Which of the following most centers you?
Emptying my mind in meditation
Taking a walk
Praying in solitude
Reading a sacred text

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3 religious beliefs What most profoundly shapes your religious beliefs?
Philosophical essays I have read
What I was taught as a child
Personal research and experience
The teachings of holy people

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4 Mountain vista If you encounter a beautiful mountain vista, what is your response?
Consider how it was formed
Take a picture
Pray in silent awe
Sing a hymn of thanks

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5 Miss a service On what occasion would you miss a religious service?
Any occasion
If my show is on
If I need some time in nature instead
Only for a serious illness or emergencies

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6 Child asking question If your child asked you what happens when people die, where would your answer come from?
Scientific facts
What my parents told me as a child
My personal understanding of my religious faith
The official teaching of my religion

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7 Dinner party When someone brings up religion at a dinner party, what do you do?
Lean back and watch
Wait for a time to split subtly
Cautiously engage if the conversation is interesting
Roll up my sleeves and enjoy the action

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8 Purpose of religion What is the purpose of religion?
To dull the pain of existence and uncertainty
To give answers for the unanswerable
To open a door to enter into mystery
To show how to relate to others and to God

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9 Inspired Where do you feel the most inspired?
Reading something profound while drinking a cup of coffee
At a culinary experience
Encountering something that takes me outside myself
During worship

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10 Tree What do trees symbolize?
A beautiful, natural process
Family bonds
Drawing nurture from a divine source
God’s care for us

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11 Childrens education What is most important for children’s education?
That they learn to think critically
That they learn how to function in the world
That they learn how to interact meaningfully with the world and the divine
That they build a strong foundation in their religious beliefs

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12 Worried If the world were to end tomorrow, what would you worry about today?
Have I lived authentically?
Am I going to be punished for not following my religion better?
There is so much left to experience in the world.
What if my loved ones will be punished for not following true religion?

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13 Sacred What is sacred?
All that is living on earth
Family
God as revealed to us through nature and each other
God as revealed to us through relgious ceremony

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14 Married Where would you most like to be married?
In a beautiful natural environment
In a beautiful architectural setting
In a beautiful place with a divine connection
At a holy site with personal meaning

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15 Struggles With whom do you identify when it comes to their struggles?
Darwin
Hamlet
Mother Teresa
King Solomon

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16 Doubt of relgion What causes you to doubt your assumptions about religion?
Seeing human behavior that transcends human nature
When terrible things happen to people who don’t deserve it
When suffering goes on without end
I don’t doubt my beliefs

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17 Life's work What do you see as your life’s work?
To fully live out my gifts and abilities
To love others and the world well
To know the divine and live in its presence
To know God and to live righteously

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18 Feast What do you do before diving into a feast?
Mentally express gratitude for the farmers who planted and harvested the food
Say a prayer we said as a family while I was growing up
Give thanks to God silently or aloud
Say a prayer of thanksgiving so that all may know where this feast comes from

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19 Great art What does great art communicate?
The human struggle
The search for beauty
The human ache for the divine
The essential truth of God

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20 Harming each other Why do people harm each other?
Evolutionary struggle
To get what they need
Separation from their divine beginnings
They have gone against God’s law

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21 Morning read What do you read with your morning coffee?
Poetry and philosophy
The news
Meditations
Scripture

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22 Memorized What do you have memorized?
Shakespeare and some of Nietzsche
A few lines of the Declaration of Independence
A wide range of poetry, including John Donne
Large sections of scripture

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23 Tragic Where does your mind go when something goes tragically wrong in life?
Life is suffering
Ask God to take away this suffering
Pray to the divine for comfort
Wonder what God is trying to teach me

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24 Talking about religion What would a conversation with a friend about religion look like?
A lively philosophical discussion
We try to avoid talking about religion
A discussion of both personal experience and philosophy
A debate about theological points

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25 White lie Is it ever OK to tell a white lie that no one would ever find out about?
Sure, if you have good reason
Sometimes, if the outcome is better than telling the truth
Every now and then it may be OK in order to protect someone
Never

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26 end of the world What will bring the world as we know it to an end?
Probably a climate-related disaster
Either an asteroid or the apocalypse
Likely a human-caused disaster allowed by the divine
God will bring the world to an end at the appointed time

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27 Right or wrong Is there such a thing as right and wrong?
They are relative terms.
Yes, and it’s pretty clear to most people what they are.
Yes, but it may not be possible for people to agree on what they are.
Yes, they are established by God.

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28 Going to church Why do people go to church?
To cement their views by being with likeminded people
To fulfill a moral obligation
To interact with a mysterious divine presence
To praise God and learn about God

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29 Favorite holiday What is important to you about your favorite holiday?
It brings together people I love and gives a reason to celebrate life.
It ties together family and friends with traditions.
It offers a way to enter into seasonal and spiritual ways of being.
It lets us enter into the work God is doing in the world.

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30 Plan for the world Is there a plan for the history of the world?
There is no plan; it unfolds by chance.
Probably, but I don’t know what it is.
Probably so, but it is unfathomable.
Yes, and God has revealed what it is.

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