Heavenly Father, we ask that you help our nation to deal righteously with matters of state. We are truly at Your mercy as we move forward in this year’s 116th Congressional agenda.
Two state legislators prayed with IFA intercessors on the First Friday Prayer Conference Call Friday, January 4, 2019. It was powerful and encouraging to pray with them. You can pray with them—click HERE.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prv 1:7)
The new, 116th Congress includes the first two Muslim women ever to serve in the House of Representatives, and is, overall, slightly more religiously diverse than the prior Congress.
There has been a 3-percentage-point decline in the share of members of Congress who identify as Christian – in the 115th Congress, 91% of members were Christian, while in the 116th, 88% are Christian. There are also four more Jewish members, one additional Muslim and one more Unitarian Universalist in the new Congress – as well as eight more members who decline to state their religious affiliation (or lack thereof).
While the number of self-identified Christians in Congress has ticked down, Christians as a whole – and especially Protestants and Catholics – are still overrepresented in proportion to their share in the general public. Indeed, the religious makeup of the new, 116th Congress is very different from that of the United States population.
Within Protestantism, certain groups are particularly numerous in the new Congress, including Methodists, Anglicans/Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Lutherans. Additionally, Protestants in the “unspecified/other” category make up just 5% of the U.S. public, but 15% of Congress….
But by far the largest difference between the U.S. public and Congress is in the share who are unaffiliated with a religious group. In the general public, 23% say they are atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” In Congress, just one person – Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who was recently elected to the Senate after three terms in the House – says she is religiously unaffiliated, making the share of “nones” in Congress 0.2%.
When asked about their religious affiliation, a growing number of members of Congress decline to specify (categorized as “don’t know/refused”). This group – all Democrats – numbers 18, or 3% of Congress, up from 10 members (2%) in the 115th Congress….
These are some of the findings from an analysis by Pew Research Center of CQ Roll Call data on the religious affiliations of members of Congress, gathered through questionnaires and follow-up phone calls to members’ and candidates’ offices. The CQ questionnaire asks members what religious group, if any, they belong to. It does not attempt to measure their religious beliefs or practices…. (Excerpts from the Pew Research Center)