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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Faith on the Hill: The religious composition of the 117th Congress

 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi administers the oath of office to members of the 117th House of Representatives on Jan. 3. (Erin Scott/AFP via Getty Images)

Faith on the Hill: The religious composition of the 117th Congress

When it comes to religious affiliation, the 117th U.S. Congress looks similar to the previous Congress but quite different from Americans overall, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

While about a quarter (26%) of U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – just one member of the new Congress (Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.) identifies as religiously unaffiliated (0.2%).

Nearly nine-in-ten members of Congress identify as Christian (88%), compared with two-thirds of the general public (65%). Congress is both more heavily Protestant (55% vs. 43%) and more heavily Catholic (30% vs. 20%) than the U.S. adult population overall.

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