Pew Report: New Congress is 88% Christian


Pew Report: New Congress is 88% Christian

Pew Research Center released research on Congress's religious composition.

88% of the new Congress are Christians, compared to 63% of US population. 469/534 members are Christians. The Pew Research Center began tracking House and Senate religious affiliation in 2009-2010. 303 are Protestant, 148 Catholic, 9 Mormon (CLS), 8 Orthodox, and 3 Muslim.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) identifies as a Messianic Jew, but has described herself as a Christian in public.

The only religiously unaffiliated member of the next Congress is Senator Kyrsten Sinema (Independent-Arizona). Representative Jared Huffman (D-California) identifies as a humanist, whereas 20 of his colleagues have unidentified religious connections.

Twenty members of Congress' religious affiliations are unclear, either because they refused to respond to CQ Roll Call's inquiry or because their responses were inconclusive.

Pew highlighted that Senate and House members are "essentially unaffected" by the continuing decline in the proportion of Americans who identify as Christians and the corresponding rise in the proportion of those who claim to have no religious affiliation.

Currently, 63% of Americans identify as Christians, compared to 78% in 2007. Currently, 29% of Americans identify as religiously unaffiliated, up from 16% in 2007.

33 members of Congress identify as Jewish, one fewer than the previous Congress. This represents 6% of the Congress, compared to 2% of the overall population.

Both chambers are dominated numerically by Christians. 268 of 271 Republicans identify as Christians, whereas just 201 of 263 Democrats do so. All nine Mormon members of Congress are Republicans, whereas four Orthodox Christians are evenly divided between the two major parties. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of newcomers to Congress are Protestant, whereas slightly more than half (55%) of incumbents identify with this denomination. There are fewer Catholic first-timers in Congress than returning members (22 percent compared with 29 percent).

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