Yesterday, members of the new 114th Congress were sworn in.
Republicans now control both chambers of the legislative body for the first time since the 109th Congress (2005-2006). Christians now comprise an overwhelming 92% of the new Congress.
Before you get all excited by that number, you should know that the 114th Congress is only slightly more Christian than the last one. And we already know how the 113th Congress performed.
That being said, the new Congress is much more Christian than Americans in general, with significantly fewer atheists and agnostics (“religiously unaffiliated”). The 114th Congress is also less Jewish than the 113th and 112th Congresses, but more Jewish than the U.S. population.
I’ve condensed the report from the Pew Research Center of Jan. 5, 2015 into the following:
|% of Christians||% of Protestants||% of Catholics||% of Jews||% of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus||% of religiously unaffiliated|
|U.S. adults in 2013||73%||49%||22%||2%||2%||20%|
*5 fewer than 113th & 11 fewer than 112th
** Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz) is the only “religiously unaffiliated” member of the new Congress.
Some other facts about the religious composition of the new Congress:
1. Republicans are overwhelmingly Christian
- 300 of the 301 Republicans in the new Congress are Christian.
- The one non-Christian Republican is Jewish freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York’s 1st District, who will have far less seniority than the one Jewish Republican to serve in the 113th Congress, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who was defeated in his district’s GOP primary.
- 67% or two-thirds (202 members) of the Republicans in the 114th Congress are Protestant.
- 27% or about ¼ (81) are Catholic;.
- 5% (14) are Mormon.
2. Democrats are less Christian, more Jewish and other
- Of the 234 Democrats in the 114th Congress, 44% (104) are Protestant.
- 35% (83) are Catholic
- 12% (27) are Jewish
- 1% (2) are Mormon
- 2 are Buddhist, 2 are Muslim, one is Hindu and one is religiously unaffiliated.