The 116th Congress, being sworn in on Thursday, will make all types of historical past — together with in its members’ non secular religion, or lack thereof.
The brand new Home and Senate could have the best variety of non-Christian members of any fashionable Congress, in accordance with information compiled by the Pew Analysis Heart, edging out the 111th when Democrats had full management of Capitol Hill.
A full 63 members — nearly all Democrats — adhere to a religion apart from Christianity or don’t adhere to any religion in any respect.
It’s the Democratic caucus that’s creating the change. The primary two Muslim ladies will take their oath of workplace as members of the brand new Home Democratic majority, and incoming Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) instructed CNN’s Clare Foran she deliberate to position her hand on a Quran to take the oath.
Based on Pew, 61 Democratic lawmakers within the Home and Senate should not Christian, whereas solely two Republicans should not — each of whom are Jewish. A lot of the Democratic non-Christians are Jewish as properly (32), and there are a handful of Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims. Practically 20 Democratic members declined to call their faith — a brand new excessive, per Pew’s information — and newly elected Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) mentioned she is unaffiliated.
Sinema is the one formally unaffiliated member of Congress, per Pew, despite the fact that practically 25 % of Individuals say they haven’t any faith.
On the entire, Congress remains to be far more Christian than the American public and that continues to be true for the Democratic membership, even with this new development in non secular variety. Greater than 75 % of Democrats in Congress are Christian, whereas simply 57 % of voters who’re both registered Democratic or lean towards Democrats say they’re Christian.
One of many hallmarks of the incoming Congress is extra various illustration. Whereas Capitol Hill stays extra homogenous than the general public in its non secular beliefs — very similar to it does in race and gender — it’s slowly starting to extra carefully resemble the individuals whom it represents.