Faith on Capitol Hill

The 115th Congress is the most Christian Congress since the 87th Congress, which served from 1961 to 1962, according to a new study by Pew Research Center. A high 91% of Congress members identify themselves as following a Christian faith.

Among the 293 Republicans elected in 2016, all but two identify as Christians. The two exceptions identify as Jewish. Among the 242 Democrats elected, 80% identify as Christian; the other 20% identify as Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and a single religiously unaffiliated member.

According to the research, the religious nature of the 2017-2018 Congress greatly differs from the religious breakdown of the general public with the highest discrepancy being in the religious unaffiliated, which represents 23% of the general public but only 0.2% of Congress.

While the number of Protestants in Congress has dropped over time from 75% in 1961 to 57% today, the number of Catholics has risen from 19% to 31%. Catholics also represent a higher percentage among the Democrat party – 37% versus 27% in the Republican party.