Source: Pew Forum
Wire Service: RNS
The new Congress will, for the first time, include a Muslim, two Buddhists, more Jews than Episcopalians, and the highest-ranking Mormon in congressional history.
Roman Catholics remain the largest single faith group in Congress, accounting for 29 percent of all members of the House and Senate, followed by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Jews and Episcopalians.
While Catholics in Congress are nearly 2-to-1 Democrats, the most lopsidedly Democratic groups are Jews and those not affiliated with any religion. Of the 43 Jewish members of Congress, there is only one Jewish Republican in the House and two in the Senate. The six religiously unaffiliated members of the House are all Democrats.
The most Republican groups are the small band of Christian Scientists in the House (all five are Republican), and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (12 Republicans and three Democrats) -- though the top-ranking Mormon in the history of Congress will be Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the incoming Democratic majority leader.
Baptists divide along partisan lines defined by race. Black Baptists, like all black members of Congress, are Democrats, while most white Baptists are Republicans. Notable exceptions include incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who will serve as president pro tem in the new Senate, making him third in succession to the presidency after the vice president and House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.