Three politically energetic evangelical groups—Baptists, nondenominational Christians, and Pentecostals—are still underrepresented in Congress, according to the Pew Research Center’s Religion on the Hill report.
The 117th US Congress is typically Christian (88%) and far additional Christian than the general community (65%). Its newest elected officials contain church deacons, Bible examine leaders, worship musicians, and Christian college graduates. (And, pending the final results of the Senate runoff in Georgia, the halls of Congress could include things like one particular additional member of the clergy—Democrat Raphael Warnock.)
The variety of devoted politicians has held constant even as the US moves absent from spiritual participation just just one member considers herself unaffiliated, a team that now contains extra than a quarter of the state, Pew reported. But above the many years, Christians in Congress have shifted in identification.
As much less customers belong to mainline denominations, a increasing amount of lawmakers have adopted the additional generic “unspecified/other” Protestant label alternatively than associating with distinct evangelical traditions, even a group like “nondenominational.”
The “other Protestant” designation continues to be the fastest-rising faith label in Congress and the second most well-liked driving “Catholic.”
In 2021, 18 new members of Congress fell into the “other Protestant” camp—over a quarter of all freshman lawmakers—bringing the complete to 96. When just 5 % of Us residents use this label, 18 percent of Congress does.
As CT reported when the previous Congress was sworn in two decades in the past, “unspecified/other” applies to “those who say they are Christian, evangelical Christian, evangelical Protestant, or Protestant, devoid of specifying a denomination” in the congressional questionnaire from CQ Roll Get in touch with, the basis for the Pew report.
Much less associates of Congress look at by themselves Pentecostals (.4% of Congress vs. 5% of the country), nondenominational (2% vs. 6%), or Baptist (12% vs. 15%) than the inhabitants as a total, even while these groups are regularly involved in political discourse and political concerns this sort of as religious liberty and abortion.
Many new associates of Congress selected the “unspecified Christian” label even if they belong to denominational churches, this sort of as:
- Troy Nehls, a previous Texas sheriff who defended the suitable to have in church, attends Faith United Methodist
- Madison Cawthorn, the controversial younger North Carolina Republican, attends Biltmore Baptist
Approximately all new “other Christians” in Congress are Republicans. California Republicans Young Kim and Michelle Steel and Washington Democrat Marilyn Strickland, the 1st a few Korean American gals elected to Congress, also use the label, as does Ga Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux.
There are six less Baptists in Congress this yr than very last calendar year and seven much less Methodists, the two largest losses.
Two of the handful of new Baptists in Congress appear from Alabama. Freshman Republican Rep. Jerry Carl, who serves as a deacon at Luke 4:18 Fellowship in Mobile, utilized to run a business enterprise manufacturing church furniture. Fellow incoming Alabama Republican Barry Moore, a Sunday college instructor and previous drummer in a Christian band, refers to his political vocation as pursuing God’s way.
“To me, guy does not have the alternative for the complications we confront in the nation or the world, it is often been a calling—about looking for the Lord,” he instructed the Southeast Sunshine. “A great deal of instances we have to just pursue what he has identified as us to do.
Nondenominational Christians obtained two seats, and Restorationists (members of the Churches of Christ) attained a few. The new Church buildings of Christ congressmen are Alabama’s Sen. Tommy Tuberville, former higher education soccer coach, and Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, who tweeted Romans 8:2 as he was sworn in Sunday.
Roll Simply call noted that in 2021 Catholics will hold the presidency, the speaker of the Dwelling posture, and the plurality in each chambers of Congress.
Exterior of Catholicism and Protestantism, Orthodox Christianity grew from 5 seats to 7, together with incoming Indiana Republican Victoria Spartz, a Ukrainian immigrant, and returning California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who is an Antiochian Orthodox Christian.