Evangelical pastor Franklin Graham has said that amid increasing terror threats, the next president of the United States must listen to the wisdom of military leaders "for the sake of the future of this country," as Islamists "hate" Americans and the freedom we enjoy.
In a recent Facebook post, Graham, the president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, reflected on how, during Thursday's GOP debate, one of the moderators questioned whether the military would use waterboarding or other methods to get information out of enemy terrorists.
"There are of course many legal considerations, but I can say this for sure. Our military has been cut back - and held back - by the current Administration," the 64-year-old evangelist wrote. "By some analyses, the US military is at its weakest since the end of World War II, while the threats against us are increasing."
In light of this unfortunate reality, Graham said he is praying that the next U.S. president will listen to military leaders "for the sake of the future of this country."
"I pray it will be someone who will support our military in doing what they need to do to protect our country and our dearly held freedoms," the evangelist wrote
"These freedoms are what the Islamists hate and want to take away," he warned. "They hate the God of the Bible, and they hate those who follow Him. If you're an American, they hate you whether you're a liberal or conservative. They want you to be subject to Sharia law and the god they worship. The god of Islam requires followers to die for him."
In typical Graham fashion, the post ended with a call to salvation: "The God I serve sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for me and to die for you," he wrote. "If you put your faith and trust in Him, He will forgive you of your sins today."
Graham, who reportedly withdrew from the GOP last year, has in the past emphasized he is not endorsing any person or political party. However, he regularly urges Christians to engage in the political process or risk "losing" the country.
"America is being stripped of biblical heritage," Graham warned during his speech delivered at the Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina as part of his "Decision America" tour, which ended February 20.
"I want to get to as many Christians as I can to vote in the next election," the evangelical leader continued, according to WISTV. "Our country is going in the wrong direction. And I think some of the politicians that are running have tapped into the anger and the frustration in this country. And I want Christians to know that their vote does count and we've taken God out of government, schools and everything else and we need to get God back into it."
"Our society is unraveling and it's coming apart," Graham added.
A recent Pew Research study found that having a president who shares their religious beliefs is important to many Americans, with about half of U.S. adults saying it is "very important" (27%) or "somewhat important" (24%) to have someone in the White House who shares their religious perspective.
The survey also found that the large majority of U.S. adults continue to believe that religion is losing influence. And most who hold this view - about half of all U.S. adults - say they think religion's declining influence is a bad thing for American society.