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New Congress to Welcome First Buddhist Senator, Hindu Representative

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Nov 13
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When the new members of Congress are sworn in on Jan. 3, the new Senate will seat a Buddhist member for the first time and the House of Representatives will have its first Hindu member, the Christian Post reports. Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who currently serves in the House, won her Senate race last week and will be sworn in as the Senate's first Buddhist. Hirono's House seat will be filled by Tulsi Gabbard, who will become the first Hindu in Congress. Hirono will also be the first Asian-American female and the first person born in Japan to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Two other Buddhists, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.,) and Rep Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) were re-elected to the House. In addition, two Muslims, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), were re-elected, and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will become Congress' only atheist after winning her first House race. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), the only atheist in the current Congress, lost his bid for re-election. Sinema will also become Congress' first openly bisexual member.