There are more Baptists in the 118th United States Congress than any other Protestant denomination, but Catholics and generic Protestants take the top faith spots.
An analysis of the newly seated Congress by Pew Research finds the 534 members of the U.S. House and Senate are more religiously affiliated — and more Christian — than the American population as a whole.
While religious affiliation continues to dwindle in American life, it remains strong among those elected to national office.
Since 2007, the share of Christians in the general population has dropped from 78% to 63%, with nearly 30% saying they are religiously unaffiliated. In contrast, Christians make up 88% of the members of Congress — only three points lower than the level in the late 1970s.
Only one member of Congress — Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who recently switched from Democrat to independent— identifies as religiously unaffiliated. Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman of California describes himself as humanist, and 20 others (3.7%) did not disclose their religious affiliations.
Protestants account for 57% of the current Congress, while Catholics account for 28% and Jews are 6%. The number of Protestants in Congress today is higher than it has been in eight years.
In other data about the religious makeup of the new Congress:
- 67 members (12.5%) identify as some kind of Baptist, close to the 11% of American adults who are Baptists.
- Methodists and Episcopalians each have four fewer members than last term, with Methodists down to 31 and Episcopalians down to 22. And Presbyterians have one fewer member, down to 25.
- 148 members are Catholics, down 10 from last term.
- Catholics still make up 28% of Congress, compared to 21% the U.S. population.
- Nine are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Eight are Orthodox Christians.
- 33 members (6.2%) are Jewish, compared to 2% of the U.S. population.
- Congress now has one Messianic Jew, Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida.
- Among the 20 who declined to describe their religious identification is Republican Rep. George Santos of New York, who has confessed to fabricating parts of his resume and has been ambiguous about his faith tradition.
- There are three Muslims in Congress: André Carson, D-Ind.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.
- There are two Hindus: Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.
- There are two Buddhists: Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., and Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii.
- There are slightly more Christians in the House than in the Senate, by percentage.