The findings, from the Pew Research Centre, a think tank based in Washington DC, show a marked change in perceptions since Martin Luther wrote his Ninety-Five Theses 500 years ago.
Sixty-five per cent of US Catholics and 57 per cent of Protestants saw their corresponding communions as more similar than different. A median of 50 per cent of European Catholics and 58 per cent of European Protestants held the same outlook.
The Western European survey questioned nearly 24,000 adults across 15 countries, revealing considerable regional differences. The United Kingdom was the only country where Catholics thought their religion was more different to Protestantism than similar (41 per cent thought it was more similar, 45 per cent thought it was more different).
Catholics are more likely to outnumber Protestants in southern European countries such as Spain and France, while Protestants outnumber Catholics in the north – the UK, Norway, Sweden and Finland. [More]