(RNS) — The theological differences that led to the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago have dwindled since in both the United States and Western Europe.

That’s the finding of a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday (Aug. 31), weeks before late October’s 500th anniversary of the schism in western Christianity.

Among U.S. Protestants, many seem unaware of the differences, voicing beliefs today that are more traditionally Catholic than they are Protestant.

“I think it’s fair to say the differences between the two groups have diminished to a degree that might have shocked Christians of earlier centuries,” said Greg Smith, associate director

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