Recently President Donald Trump accepted the illegal occupation of Golan Heights as a legitimate Israeli territory after deciding to shift the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and declaring it as the eternal Capital of Jews.
Obviously, these steps go against world opinion and the UN resolutions. Yet the President decided to go against every norm of justice and fairness. Is it the influence of the pro-Israeli lobby on US senators and congressmen as well as the President or is it the influence of right-wing Christian evangelical groups or is the influence of the combined strength of the two. In a series of articles, we would explore the reasons behind the US continued support of Israel despite the fact that Israel is the world’s worst human rights violator.
This article looks at the religious profile of the US with a description of religious affiliations of the senators. Subsequent articles would deal with other aspects of the issue.
It is estimated that there are some 4200 religions in the world with Christianity as the largest religion followed by Islam. The country and Protestant churches have the largest number of adherents. Christians represent 73.7 percent of the population with 49.9 Protestant. 23 percent as Catholics: 1.8 Percent as Mormons.
There are 18.2 percent who do not identify with any religion. Jews are about 2.1 percent of the population and Muslims make about 0.8 percent of the populations. Mississippi is the most religious state with 70 percent claiming to be religious and New Hampshire the least religious with 80 percent describing them as nonreligious. American Samoa is the largest religious region of the state with 94 percent claiming to be religious.
How does this religious diversity reflect in the US Senate? Currently, among 100 senators non-Christian religions are represented by eight Jews, fice unaffiliated and one Buddhists.
The following list compares reported religious affiliations of U.S. senators to religious statistics of the demographics of the United States of America: Protestants have 60 members, Catholics have 22 and Latter Day Saints or Mormons have four senators.
Among Protestants, Presbyterians are represented by 14% of the Senate for 2.2% of the population; Baptists are 11% of the Senate for 15.3% of the population: Methodists are 11% of the Senate for 4.4% of the population: Lutherans are 6% of the Senate for 3.6% of the population: Episcopalians are 4% of the Senate for 1.2% of the population: Evangelicals are represented by 6% of the Senate for 26.4% of the population: Congregationalists are 2% of the Senate for 0.5% of the population: The Church of God has1% of the Senate for 0.7% of the population: the Churches of Christ are 1% of the Senate for 1.5% of the population.
Catholics are represented by 22% of the Senate for 20.8% of the population.
A number of religions in the US is roughly 313 of which 28 are said to have a large following. Additionally, there are 35 Christian denominations, 124 non-Christian religions and 127 “New Age” religions. Christianity is the largest religion in
Jews are represented by 8% of the Senate for 1.9% of the population.
Buddhists are 1% of the Senate for 0.7% of the population.
Those without religious affiliation are represented by 5% of the Senate for 22.8% of the population.
Religious identities do matter in the US, especially at a time when from President to Secretary of the State have been using religious symbols and language to advance their agenda. In the 116th Congress, 385 out of 435 members of House of representative or 88.7 percent are Christians. Various denominations of Protestantism are 243 or 53.7 of the total members and Catholics are 141 or 32.5 percent. Mormons are 6 (1.4 percent). And Orthodox Christians are 5 (1.2)
There are 26 Jews (6 percent), 3 Muslims (.7), 3 Hindus (.7). Two (.5) identify as Unitarian Universalists and 14 or (3.2 percent) refused to identify with any religion.
In the House 197 Republicans are Christians with 136 Protestants, 54 Catholics, 5 Mormons and 2 Orthodox while 188 Democrats are Christians, with 97 Protestants, 87 Catholics, 1 Mormon and 3 Orthodox Christians, All 3 Muslim and 3 Hindu members of Congress are Democrats as well as 24 Jews or 11.4). Unitarian Universalists are 2 and who refused to identify with any religion are 14 Democrats.