On religion, Capitol freshmen are more diverse than their incumbent colleagues

Published: Saturday, Jan. 5 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

The U.S. Capitol is framed amid reflections from inside the Cannon House Office Building on the last day of the 112th Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. On Thursday, all members of the House of Representatives and one third of the Senate will be sworn in as the 113th Congress begins its work.

J. Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Our take: The freshmen class of the 113th Congress is more religiously diverse than past incoming representatives and senators. CNNs Belief Blog reports that the increase in diversity means a number of religious firsts for Capitol Hill: the first Hindu to serve in either legislative body, the first Buddhist to serve in the Senate and the first member of either chamber to describe their religion as "none."

Washington (CNN) — The 113th Congress is being heralded for its number of women and minorities, but that diversity extends to religion, too. Newly revised numbers released by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life show the 113th Congress' freshmen class is more religiously diverse than the lawmakers they will be joining in Congress.

While 57.6% of incumbents, a majority of Congress, identify as Protestants, that number is lower among freshmen legislators, of whom 48.2% identify as Protestants, according to the study. Additionally, there are more unaffiliated, Unitarian, Hindu and Buddhists in the 113th Congress freshman class than in classes before.

These numbers were updated by Pew after House seats were finalized and the new members of Congress were sworn in.

Read more about On religion, Capitol freshmen are more diverse than their incumb on CNN.

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