A religious census of the incoming 98th Congress shows a continued interbase in the number of legislators who are Roman Catholics, with declining numbers of United Methodists and members of the United Church of Christ.
The statistics, compiled by the evangelical journal, Christianity Today, also show a record number of Jewish legislators - 7 senators and 23 representatives.
Of the entire Congress, only 6 profess no religious affilation, while 19 more list themselves as "Christian" or "Protestant" without specifying any denomination.
There will be 13 Catholic senators and 116 Catholic representatives in the new congress - the largest single religious group.
The next largest group are United Methodists. The nation's second largest Protestant body, with 9.8 million adherents, accounts for 18 senators and 57 House members - down three representatives and two senators from the current Congress.
Episcopalians rank third, with 17 in the Senate and 53 in the House - up a total of five legislators from the 95th Congress.
The Episcopal Church has always been representated in Congress in numbers far out of proportion to its 2.8 million members nationwide. So have Presbyterians, who have more than 3.5 million members in their various branches and 60 legislators in the new Congress.
Baptists, on the other hand, are underrepresented. Southern Baptists alone have 13 million members, with several million more in other Baptist bodies. Yet Baptists rank fifth in the number of legislators, with 57.
Affiliation by major religious bodies of members of the Ninety-Sixth Congress follows:(TABLE) Denomination(COLUMN)House(COLUMN)Senate Roman Catholics(COLUMN)116(COLUMN)13 United Methodist(COLUMN)57(COLUMN)18 Episcopal(COLUMN)53(COLUMN)17 Presbytarian(COLUMN)49(COLUMN)11 Baptist(COLUMN)47(COLUMN)10 Jewish(COLUMN)23(COLUMN)7 Lutheran(COLUMN)15(COLUMN)4 United Church of Christ(COLUMN)13(COLUMN)3 Unitarian(COLUMN)8(COLUMN)4 Mormon(COLUMN)7(COLUMN)3 Disciples of Christ(COLUMN)6(COLUMN)8(END TABLE)
In addition, 17 denominations, from the Armenian Church in America to the Schwenkfelder Church, have from one to five members in Congress.
Among the nation's governors, the largest number - 12 are Roman Catholics, Presbyterians and Episcopalians have eight each; seven are Baptist; Lutherans and the United Church of Christ each have four.