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The Daily Tar Heel

NC General Assembly members come from mostly Christian faiths

In the North Carolina General Assembly, only four out of 170 legislators did not specifically say they came from a Christian religious tradition. Sen. Josh Stein of Wake County identifies as Jewish, and one senator and two representatives did not respond to the legislature’s 2015 questionnaire on religious affiliation.

That means 97.6 percent of the legislature identifies with Christian religious traditions, compared with 77 percent of North Carolina’s population, according to 2014 data from the Pew Research Center. Just 1 percent of North Carolina’s population is Jewish. Two percent of North Carolinians have non-Judeo-Christian faiths, but no legislators identify with these.

Ninety-two percent of senators and 93.3 percent of representatives identify with Protestant traditions, whereas 66 percent of North Carolinians are Protestant. 

Roughly 30 percent of legislators identify as Baptist, making it the most prevalent denomination in both the House and Senate. However, some lawmakers identified only as “Protestant” or “Christian” when filling out the questionnaire. The legislature is 3.5 percent Catholic, as are 9 percent of all North Carolinians.

All but three members of the General Assembly identified with some religion — a sharp contrast from the 25 percent of North Carolinians who identify as unaffiliated or 15 percent who consider themselves “nothing in particular.”


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