Catholics comprise 31% of new US Congress

Posted By: January 03, 2017

Catholic World News  Monday, January 3, 2017

Catholics account for 31% of the members of the new US Congress, the Pew Forum reports.

The percentage of Catholics in Congress has grown dramatically in the past 55 years: from 19% to 31%. Catholics make up 27% of the Republican majority in Congress, and 37% of the Democratic minority.

While the American population has seen a steady slippage in the percentage of people who identify themselves as Christians, that trend is not evident on Capitol Hill. Although the number of Protestant representative in Congress has dropped since 1961, the overall percentage of lawmakers who identify themselves as Christian has remained steady at over 90%, largely because of the growth in the Catholic presence.

Of the 293 Republicans in the 115th Congress, all but two identify themselves as Christians; those two are Jewish. On the Democratic side of the aisle, 80% categorize themselves as Christian, but there are also Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Unitarian members, and 11 who either decline to identify a religious affiliation or say they have non