- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2015

Approximately nine in 10 members of the incoming 114th Congress are Christians, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

About 57 percent are Protestant, putting both of those numbers in line with the religious affiliations of the 113th Congress. Thirty-one percent are Catholic, the same as the expiring Congress.

Twenty percent of the general public say they are “religiously unaffiliated,” compared to 0.2 percent of Congress; the only member to describe herself that way is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona Democrat.

Five percent of Congress is Jewish, compared to 2 percent for the population as a whole, but there are five fewer Jewish members in the incoming Congress than there were in the 113th and 11 fewer than there were in the 112th, according to Pew’s analysis.

Of the approximately 300 Republicans in the new Congress, only Rep.-elect Lee Zeldin of New York is Jewish. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, who is also Jewish, lost in a GOP primary in June.

About two-thirds of Republicans in the incoming Congress are Protestant, about a quarter are Catholic, and 5 percent are Mormon.

Of the 234 Democrats in the 114th Congress, 104 are Protestant (44 percent) 83 are Catholic (35 percent), 27 are Jewish (12 percent) two are Mormon (1 percent), two are Buddhist, two are Muslim and one is Hindu, according to the analysis.

For the purposes of the analysis, Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, both of whom caucus with Democrats, were counted as Democrats.

The analysis was based on data compiled primarily by CQ Roll Call.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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