U.S. Congress is Predominantly Christian

The present U.S. Congress, its 115th iteration, is predominantly Christian. About 91 percent of the federal lawmakers identify their faith as Christianity. This percentage of Christian lawmakers are proportionately more than the U.S. population who identifies as Christian. 71 percent of American adults adhere to Christianity.

A recent analysis by Pew Research Center of the Congressional data gathered through the CQ Roll Call revealed a number of interesting facts concerning the religious structure of the present Congress. Pew has concentrated on the state congressional delegations.

Catholics are spread across delegations of all states except 11 of them. This religious denomination makes 21 percent of U.S. adult population and 31 percent of Congress. A total of nine states have delegations which are 50 percent or more Catholic in their religious identity. These states include New York and Pennsylvania. Other than this, five of those states have delegations which are 50 percent or more Catholic. These include the states of Alaska, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and North Dakota. These states send a maximum of four lawmakers to the U.S. Congress.

Only Hawaii has sent no Christians as a part of the congressional delegation. Christians number 63 percent of Hawaii adults. The delegation is made of two Buddhists, one Jew and one Hindu.

Congressional delegations of the 10 most populous states are heavily Christian

It is observed that 28 states, comprising more than 50 percent of the total number of states, send wholly Christian delegations. The size of these delegations varies from as less as three members (like Alaska, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota and North Dakota) to as much as 38 members (like Texas). It is to be kept in mind only 86 percent of the population in these states identify themselves as Christian. In many states, like Massachusetts, six out of 10 people are Christian.

Although about 48 percent of U.S. adults are Protestant, delegations of six states are 100 percent Protestant. The states are Wyoming, Alabama, Montana, Delaware, Oklahoma and Kansas. Protestants are absent in the delegation of four states: Vermont, Hawaii, Utah and Idaho.

A total of 17 states send delegations which have a minimum of one Jewish lawmaker. Six states send multiple lawmakers who identify themselves with Judaism. Five Jewish legislators in New York and California. Florida has three. Tennessee, Maryland and Illinois each have two. Colorado, Vermont, Kentucky, Oregon, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey and Nevada all have one Jewish lawmaker. The 115th Congress has a total of 30 Jews, making up six percent of the body. Jews comprise two percent of U.S. adults.

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