With Christianity in rapid decline across America, the faithful can look to one major public institution where the faithful are standing firm.
The problem, for many, it that it’s Congress – which remains far more Christian than the nation at large and in numbers largely unchaged over years.
“Since 2007, the share of Christians in the general population has dropped from 78 percent to its present level of 63 percent” Pew reports.
“Nearly three-in-ten U.S. adults now say they are religiously unaffiliated, describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” up from 16 percent who did not identify with a religion 16 years ago,” Pew adds.
But there’s one place where Christians are standing firm, and it’s shocking many.
“Christians make up 88% of the voting members of the new 118th Congress being sworn in on Jan. 3 – only a few percentage points lower than the Christian share of Congress in the late 1970s,” Pew finds.
Some Christian denominations are seeing their numbers increase.
“There are 303 Protestants in the new Congress, an increase of six from the previous Congress and the first time in four sessions (since 2015-2016) that the number has topped 300,” Pew notes.
While the number of Methodists, Episcopalians and Presbyterians dropped by five compared to the previous Congress, “the number of Protestants who do not specify a particular denomination or denominational family – providing vague or broad answers such as “Protestant,” “Christian” or “evangelical Protestant” – rose from 96 to 107, continuing a recent trend.”
And while Catholicism has been in decline over the last several decades, the number of Catholics in Congress has increased.
Pew finds there were 100 Catholics in Congress during the 1961-1962 session, coinciding with the election of the nation’s first Catholic president.
There are now 148 Catholics in the current Congress, making up 28 percent of the chamber, more than the 22 percent found among the general population.