New U.S. Congress: Most Religiously Diverse, Yet Still 56% Protestant

Pew analysis of elected officials reveals 299 Protestants, but also first-ever Hindu and 'none.'

The 113th Congress may not be wholly representative of the general public's religiosity. According to the Pew Forum, 299 of the 530 newly elected congressional officials (56 percent) identify as Protestant.

Pew reports that this is, more or less, the same percentage of Protestants as in the 112th Congress (307 of whom were Protestant). However, it stands in contrast to a Pew study released last month, which documented the rise of the "nones," the increasing number of Americans who say they do not affiliate with any particular religion or denomination. The same study showed that, for the first time ever, the percentage of Americans identifying as Protestants had dropped below 50 percent.

Of Protestant lawmakers, the largest share (14 percent) identified themselves as Baptist, and another 11 percent identified as "unspecified/other" Protestant. Only three members of the 113th Congress specified that they belong to nondenominational Protestant churches.

But the 113th Congress likely will be ...

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