Fresh off the heels of his confrontation with Hollywood actress Ellen Page over LGBT issues, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz sought to rally Evangelicals in Iowa and sat down for a discussion with Nagmeh Abedini, the wife of Saaed Abedini, who has been imprisoned by Iran since 2012.
Abedini called Cruz "one of my favorite people," and said her husband "won't back down in his faith for Jesus Christ and he has been tortured and beaten." Abedini said her husband has been moved from prison to prison for sharing his faith. Cruz proclaimed that Abedini has led several prisoners to Christ from his jail cell in Iran.
Abedini said that Iran does not like her husband because he represents the United States and Jesus Christ.
The rally for religious liberty in Des Moines, Iowa Friday, featured live music, including the popular Christian band Newsboys, and a keynote address by Cruz.
"These threats are not imagined not made up," declared Cruz. "These are real people living real lives, who found themselves facing persecution for simply living out their faith."
Cruz mentioned Aaron and Melissa Klein by name, former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, and many others who he perceives are being discriminated against because of their traditional and Christian views on marriage.
"There is a war on faith in America today," said Cruz. "In our lifetime did we ever imagine that in the land of the free and the home of the brave we would be witnessing our government persecute citizens for their faith?"
Cruz also quoted Aaron Klein who said he is fighting for "religious freedom."
"These are people for whom right and truth will always be more than going along to get along or looking the other way when right is replaced by what is wrong," added Cruz.
The Texas Senator, who has recently polled in third place in some polls, showered praise on figures who he believes are fighting back against "Washington elites" and their "war on religious faith." Cruz mentioned too how the Little of the Sisters of the Poor have been "deprived" of "constitutional rights" because the Obama administration is trying to force them to pay for abortifacient drugs.
Cruz stressed several times in his speech that the federal government is now an enemy of religious liberty to our citizens while also criticizing Planned Parenthood.
"I don't have to remind anybody here of the atrocities committed everyday by Planned Parenthood," declared Cruz. "Those that support them have demonstrated and utter disregard for human life. An innocent life should not be treated as a business transaction.
"If I am elected president I will order the Justice Department to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and I'll prosecute the organization," he added.
Cruz cited the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage and said that it could be used to prosecute Americans who dissent from the government's views.
"It is not enough to tear down marriage, Washington elites want to silence those who believe in marriage," Cruz proclaimed. Cruz said he believes America is a country "built on Judeo-Christian values."
"Rights don't come from black robed lawyers or politicians from Washington, they come from God," declared Cruz. "It is this revelation that had made American an exceptional nation," he added.
He called on people of faith to become people of courage, where he cited the biblical figures of Daniel, Esther, and Jeremiah as examples. "What scares the extremists the most is that there are more of us than there are of them," he said.
Cruz offered praise for the Liberty Institute and Alliance Defending Freedom for their defense of the First Amendment. Cruz believes that 54 million Evangelical voters are staying home on election-day and implied that if he wins the nomination that will end. Cruz claims there are more than 90 million Evangelical voters in America.
"We are a self-governing people and we will defend our liberty. I give you my solemn word, if I am elected president, I will instruct the federal agencies that the persecution of religious liberty ends today," declared Cruz.
The Texas Senator believes that things can get much worse for Christians in America and cited examples of persecution and death against Christians across the globe.