Despite his disillusionment with today's political climate, the Rev. Franklin Graham has praised President Barack Obama for his recent comments on persecuted Christians at the hands of the Islamic State terror group.
"President Barack Obama said this week that he is praying for Christians being persecuted this Christmas by ISIS. I'm glad his administration is beginning to acknowledge the plight of Christians being persecuted and killed around the world by Islam," Graham, 64, wrote in a Facebook message on Sunday.
"[T]hey're real people and they are suffering," Billy Graham's son continued. "Some places in the Middle East where Christianity has its roots-where Abraham, Moses, the apostles, and even Jesus Christ walked centuries ago-Christians are virtually extinct this Christmas. They've had to flee or fall. We need to remember those suffering unbelievable hardship and danger because of their faith and pray that the bloody rampage of ISIS will be halted in the new year."
"We join with people around the world in praying for God's protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, as well as for those brave men and women engaged in our military, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering and restore stability, security, and hope to their nations," the president declared last week.
"In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent; this silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL," he added, using another name for IS.
Graham, who is both the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, has previously criticized the president for failing to acknowledge the suffering of Christians at the hands of Islamic extremists.
In March, Graham warned that Obama is "very sympathetic to Islam" and that America's foreign policy is influenced by Muslims, which could lead to Christians and Jewish people being persecuted in the United States.
"There are Muslims that have access to him in the White House. Our foreign policy has a lot of influence now, from Muslims. We see the prime minister of Israel being snubbed by the president and by the White House and by the Democrats and it's because of the influence of Islam. They hate Israel, and they hate Christians, and so the storm is coming, I believe," Graham told Gordon Robertson, host of CBN's "The 700 Club" interactive program.
Graham further pointed out that Obama had a Muslim father, and that as a child the president went to school in Indonesia, which has the largest Islamic population in the world.
"So, growing up his frame of reference and his influence as a young man was Islam. It wasn't Christianity, it was Islam," the evangelist said.
Earlier this month, Graham announced he has resigned from the Republican Party and declared himself an Independent after the GOP-led Congress passed a "wasteful" 1.1 trillion spending bill that includes funding for the leading abortion organization Planned Parenthood.
"I have no hope in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or Tea Party to do what is best for America," he lamented. "Unless more godly men and women get in this process and change this wicked system, our country is in for trouble. I want to challenge Christians, even pastors, across the country to pray about running for office where they can have an impact. We need mayors, county commissioners, city council members, school board members who will uphold biblical values."