Religious affiliation in the United States Senate

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This article covers the religious affiliation in the United States Senate.

While the religious preference of elected officials is by no means an indication of their allegiance nor necessarily reflective of their voting record, the religious affiliation of prominent members of all three branches of government is a source of commentary and discussion among the media and public. The topic is also of interest to religious groups and the general public who may appeal to senators of their denomination on religious or moral issues facing the United States Senate.

Current United States senators[edit]

The following list reports the religious affiliation of the members of the United States Senate in the 117th Congress. In most cases, besides specific sources, the current senators' religious affiliations are those mentioned in regular researches by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life at the Pew Research Center.[1] One vacancy will be filled in late January 2021.

Christians (86)[edit]

Protestants (58)[edit]

Presbyterians (13)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) official headshot - 116th Congress (cropped).jpg Marsha Blackburn Republican Tennessee Presbyterian[2]
John Barrasso official portrait 112th Congress (cropped).jpg John Barrasso Republican Wyoming Presbyterian[3][4] Former Catholic.
Shelley Moore Capito official Senate photo (cropped).jpg Shelley Moore Capito Republican West Virginia Presbyterian[5]
Tom Carper, official portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Tom Carper Democratic Delaware Presbyterian[6][7]
Chris Coons, official portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Chris Coons Democratic Delaware Presbyterian[8][9] Attends a Catholic church.[10]
Steve Daines official Senate portrait (cropped).jpg Steve Daines Republican Montana Presbyterian[11] Swore by a Lutheran Bible.[12]
Deb Fischer, official portrait, 115th Congress (cropped).jpg Deb Fischer Republican Nebraska Presbyterian[13][14]
Jim Inhofe official portrait (cropped).jpg Jim Inhofe Republican Oklahoma Presbyterian[15][16]
Rand Paul, official portrait, 112th Congress alternate (cropped).jpg Rand Paul Republican Kentucky Presbyterian[17][18] Raised as an Episcopalian.[19][20]
Ben Sasse official portrait (cropped).jpg Ben Sasse Republican Nebraska Presbyterian[21] Raised as Lutheran;[22][23] former Reformed.[24][25]
Richard Shelby, official portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Richard Shelby Republican Alabama Presbyterian[26][27]
Tina Smith official photo (cropped).jpg Tina Smith Democratic Minnesota Presbyterian[1] Swore by an old Heilige Bibel, a family Bible.[28]
Mark Warner, official 111th Congress photo portrait (cropped).jpg Mark Warner Democratic Virginia Presbyterian[29][30]
Baptists (11)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Roy Blunt, Official Portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Roy Blunt Republican Missouri Baptist[31][32]
Cory Booker, official portrait, 114th Congress.jpg Cory Booker Democratic New Jersey Baptist[33] Raised as a Methodist.[34]
Raphael Warnock official photo.jpg Raphael Warnock Democratic Georgia Baptist Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
John Boozman, official portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg John Boozman Republican Arkansas Baptist[35][36]
Ted Cruz official 116th portrait (cropped).jpg Ted Cruz Republican Texas Baptist[37][38]
Lindsey Graham, Official Portrait 2006 (cropped).jpg Lindsey Graham Republican South Carolina Baptist[39][40]
Chuck Grassley official photo 2017.jpg Chuck Grassley Republican Iowa Baptist[41][42]
Cindy Hyde-Smith official photo.jpg Cindy Hyde-Smith Republican Mississippi Baptist[43]
James Lankford official Senate photo (cropped).jpg James Lankford Republican Oklahoma Baptist[44][45] Former student ministries and evangelism specialist
for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Mitch McConnell 2016 official photo (cropped).jpg Mitch McConnell Republican Kentucky Baptist[46][47]
Roger F. Wicker crop.jpg Roger Wicker Republican Mississippi Baptist[48][49]
Methodists (7)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Richard Burr official portrait (cropped).jpg Richard Burr Republican North Carolina Methodist[50][51]
Tom Cotton official Senate photo (cropped).jpg Tom Cotton Republican Arkansas Methodist[52]
John Neely Kennedy, official portrait, 115th Congress.jpg John Neely Kennedy Republican Louisiana Methodist[53]
Jerry Moran, official portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Jerry Moran Republican Kansas Methodist[54][55]
Rob Portman official portrait (cropped).jpg Rob Portman Republican Ohio Methodist[56][57] Former Presbyterian.[58][59]
Debbie Stabenow, official portrait 2.jpg Debbie Stabenow Democratic Michigan Methodist[60][61]
Elizabeth Warren, official portrait, 114th Congress (cropped).jpg Elizabeth Warren Democratic Massachusetts Methodist[62][63] Attends various churches.[64]
Lutherans (6)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Sherrod Brown official photo 2009 2.jpg Sherrod Brown Democratic Ohio Lutheran[65][66][67]
Joni Ernst, official portrait, 116th Congress 2 (cropped).jpg Joni Ernst Republican Iowa Lutheran[65]
Heinrich Official Headshot 2019 (cropped).jpg Martin Heinrich Democratic New Mexico Lutheran[65][68][69]
Ron Johnson, official portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Ron Johnson Republican Wisconsin Lutheran[65][70][71]
Cynthia Lummis U.S. Senator (cropped).jpg Cynthia Lummis Republican Wyoming Lutheran[65][72]
Jeff Merkley, 115th official photo (cropped).jpg Jeff Merkley Democratic Oregon Lutheran[65][73][74]
Evangelicals (6)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Bill Cassidy official Senate photo (cropped).jpg Bill Cassidy Republican Louisiana Evangelical[75]
Kevin Cramer, official portrait, 116th congress (cropped).jpg Kevin Cramer Republican North Dakota Evangelical[76] Former Lutheran.[76]
Josh Hawley, official portrait, 116th congress.jpg Josh Hawley Republican Missouri Evangelical[77] Raised as a Methodist.[77]
Official Portrait of Senator Rick Scott (cropped).jpg Rick Scott Republican Florida Evangelical[78] Former Presbyterian.[78]
Tim Scott, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped).jpg Tim Scott Republican South Carolina Evangelical[79][80]
John Thune, official portrait, 111th Congress (cropped).jpg John Thune Republican South Dakota Evangelical[81][82]
Episcopalians (5)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Sen. Bill Hagerty official Senate portrait, 117th Congress (cropped).jpg Bill Hagerty Republican Tennessee Episcopalian[1]
Angus King, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped).jpg Angus King Independent Maine Episcopalian[83][84][85]
Gary Peters official photo 115th congress (cropped).jpg Gary Peters Democratic Michigan Episcopalian[83][86][87]
Chris Van Hollen official portrait 115th Congress (cropped).jpg Chris Van Hollen Democratic Maryland Episcopalian[83][88]
Sheldon Whitehouse 2010 (cropped).jpg Sheldon Whitehouse Democratic Rhode Island Episcopalian[83][89][90]
Congregationalists (2)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Maggie Hassan, official portrait, 115th Congress (cropped).jpg Maggie Hassan Democratic New Hampshire Congregationalist
(United Church of Christ)
Amy Klobuchar, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped closein3x4).jpg Amy Klobuchar Democratic Minnesota Congregationalist
(United Church of Christ)[91][92]
Restorationists (2)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
John Cornyn official senate portrait (cropped).jpg John Cornyn Republican Texas Restorationist
(Churches of Christ)[93][94]
Tommy Tuberville 117th Congress Portrait.jpg Tommy Tuberville Republican Alabama Restorationist
(Churches of Christ)[95]
Holiness (1)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
JonTester (cropped).jpg Jon Tester Democratic Montana Holiness
(Church of God)[96][97]
Quakers (1)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Senator Hickenlooper.jpg John Hickenlooper Democratic Colorado Quaker[98] "Raised on the periphery of the Episcopal Church",[99]
but misidentified as an Episcopalian in the Pew Report.[1]
Unspecified Protestants (4)[edit]
Senator Party State Religion Notes
Chris Murphy, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg Chris Murphy Democratic Connecticut Protestant[100][101] Raised as a Congregationalist.[102]
Jeanne Shaheen, official Senate photo portrait, 2009 (cropped).jpg Jeanne Shaheen Democratic New Hampshire Protestant[103][104]
Senator Todd Young official portrait (cropped).jpg Todd Young Republican Indiana Protestant[105]
Roger Marshall official portrait.jpg Roger Marshall Republican Kansas Protestant

Catholics (25)[edit]

Senator Party State Religion Notes
Mike Braun, Official Portrait, 116th Congress (cropped).jpg Mike Braun Republican Indiana Catholic[106]
Maria Cantwell (cropped).jpg Maria Cantwell Democratic Washington Catholic[107][108]
Bob Casey Jr. official photo (cropped).jpg Bob Casey Democratic Pennsylvania Catholic[109][110]
Susan Collins official Senate photo (cropped).jpg Susan Collins Republican Maine Catholic[111][112]
Catherine Cortez Masto official portrait (cropped).jpg Catherine Cortez Masto Democratic Nevada Catholic[113][114][115]
Richard Durbin official photo (cropped).jpg Dick Durbin Democratic Illinois Catholic[116][117]
Kirsten Gillibrand, official photo, 116th Congress (cropped).jpg Kirsten Gillibrand Democratic New York Catholic[118][119]
John Hoeven, Official Senate Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg John Hoeven Republican North Dakota Catholic[120][121]
Tim Kaine 116th official portrait (cropped).jpg Tim Kaine Democratic Virginia Catholic[122][123]
SenatorKellyOfficialPhoto (cropped 2).jpg Mark Kelly Democratic Arizona Catholic[1] His wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is Jewish.
Patrick Leahy official photo (cropped).jpg Patrick Leahy Democratic Vermont Catholic[124][125]
Ben Ray Lujan, 117th Congress portrait (cropped).jpg Ben Ray Luján Democratic New Mexico Catholic[1]
Joe Manchin official portrait 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Joe Manchin Democratic West Virginia Catholic[119][126]
Edward Markey, official portrait, 114th Congress (cropped).jpg Ed Markey Democratic Massachusetts Catholic[127][128]
Robert Menendez official Senate portrait (cropped).jpg Bob Menendez Democratic New Jersey Catholic[129][130]
Lisa Murkowski.jpg Lisa Murkowski Republican Alaska Catholic[131][132]
Patty Murray, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped).jpg Patty Murray Democratic Washington Catholic[133][134]
Alex Padilla 117th Congress portrait (cropped).jpg Alex Padilla Democratic California Catholic[135]
Jack Reed, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Jack Reed Democratic Rhode Island Catholic[136][137]
Jim Risch official portrait (cropped).jpg Jim Risch Republican Idaho Catholic[138][139]
Mike Rounds official Senate portrait (cropped).jpg Mike Rounds Republican South Dakota Catholic[140][141]
Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Marco Rubio Republican Florida Catholic[142][143] Former Latter-day Saint.[144]
Senator Dan Sullivan official (cropped).jpg Dan Sullivan Republican Alaska Catholic[145]
Thom Tillis official photo (cropped).jpg Thom Tillis Republican North Carolina Catholic
Pat Toomey, Official Portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Pat Toomey Republican Pennsylvania Catholic[146][147]

Latter-day Saints (3)[edit]

Senator Party State Religion Notes
Mike Crapo Official Photo 110th Congress (cropped).jpg Mike Crapo Republican Idaho Latter-day Saint[148][149]
Mike Lee official portrait 112th Congress (cropped).jpg Mike Lee Republican Utah Latter-day Saint[150][151]
Mitt Romney official US Senate portrait (cropped).jpg Mitt Romney Republican Utah Latter-day Saint[152][153]

Jews (9)[edit]

Senator Party State Religion Notes
Richard Blumenthal Official Portrait (cropped).jpg Richard Blumenthal Democratic Connecticut Jewish[154][155]
Jon Ossoff 2020 2 (cropped 2).jpg Jon Ossoff Democratic Georgia Jewish[156]
Ben Cardin official Senate portrait (cropped).jpg Ben Cardin Democratic Maryland Jewish[157][158]
Dianne Feinstein, official Senate photo 2 (cropped).jpg Dianne Feinstein Democratic California Jewish[159][160][161]
Bernie Sanders (cropped).jpg Bernie Sanders Independent Vermont Jewish[162][163] Non-practicing.
Jacky Rosen, official portrait, 116th congress (cropped-1).jpg Jacky Rosen Democratic Nevada Jewish[164][165]
Brian Schatz, official portrait, 113th Congress 2 (cropped).jpg Brian Schatz Democratic Hawaii Jewish[166][167]
Chuck Schumer official photo (cropped).jpg Chuck Schumer Democratic New York Jewish[168][169]
Ron Wyden official photo (cropped).jpg Ron Wyden Democratic Oregon Jewish[170][171]

Buddhists (1)[edit]

Senator Party State Religion Notes
Mazie Hirono, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped).jpg Mazie Hirono Democratic Hawaii Buddhist
(Jōdo Shinshū)[172][173]
Non-practicing.

Unknown/refused to specify (3)[edit]

Senator Party State Religion Notes
Tammy Baldwin, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped).jpg Tammy Baldwin Democratic Wisconsin Unknown/Refused to specify[1][174][175] Baptized as an Episcopalian.[176]
Michael Bennet Official Photo (cropped).jpg Michael Bennet Democratic Colorado Unknown/Refused to specify[1][177][178] Raised in both Jewish and Christian traditions.[179]
Tammy Duckworth 115th official portrait (cropped).jpg Tammy Duckworth Democratic Illinois Unknown/Refused to specify[1] Sometimes acknowledged as Deist.[180]

Unaffiliated (1)[edit]

Senator Party State Religion Notes
Kyrsten Sinema (cropped).jpg Kyrsten Sinema Democratic Arizona Unaffiliated Raised as a Latter-day Saint.[181]

Comparison with general population[edit]

In conjunction with figures derived from the Pew Research Center's 2014 Religious Landscape Study,[182] the most basic breakdown of the above data indicates that 86% of the Senate identify as Christian (compared with 70.6% of the population), 9% of the Senate identify as Jewish (compared with 1.9% of the population), 1% of the Senate identifies with other religions (compared with 5.9% of the population), 3% of the Senate have unknown religions or refused to specify them (compared with 0.6% of the population), and 1% of the Senate remains unaffiliated (compared with 22.8% of the population).

The following table compares reported religious affiliations of U.S. senators to religious statistics of the demographics of the United States:

Religion Group # of sens % of sens % of population
Christianity Catholics
25 / 100
25% 20.8%
Presbyterians
13 / 100
13% 2.2%
Baptists
11 / 100
11% 15.3%
Methodists
7 / 100
7% 4.4%
Lutherans
6 / 100
6% 3.6%
Episcopalians
5 / 100
5% 1.2%
Various other Protestants
16 / 100
16% 15.7%
Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
3 / 100
3% 1.6%
Jews
9 / 100
9% 1.9%
Buddhists
1 / 100
1% 1%
Unknown/Refused to state
3 / 100
3% 0.6%
Unaffiliated
1 / 100
1% 22.8%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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