November 24, 2011
The number of religious groups lobbying in Washington has increased fivefold since 1970 to become a nearly $400-million industry, a new Pew Forum report shows. The 212 religion-related advocacy groups operating in the nation's capital are 19 percent Roman Catholic, 18 percent evangelical, 12 percent Jewish, 8 percent mainline Protestant and 8 percent Muslim, with a small minority of other religious groups, including Buddhists and Hindus. The largest percentage, however, is inter-faith groups, who make up 25 percent and who either represent multiple religions or advocate on religious issues without representing a particular faith. According to the report, the most common issues for religious groups include church-state relationships, civil rights for minority religions, abortion issues, family issues, international human rights issues and the promotion of peace and democracy around the world.