Ralph Reed, the influential CEO of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, believes the issue of religious liberty will be front and center throughout the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I think it’s important because of what are likely to be the consequences of the Obergefell decision,” Reed tells The Daily Signal. “I think the redefinition of marriage begins to raise questions and issues that we saw play out in Indiana and Arkansas earlier this year on the issues of Religious Freedom Restoration Acts and whether or not, for example, Christian-owned businesses or Christian hospitals would have to recognize or cater to or provide services to, for example, a same-sex marriage ceremony.”
Reed is a major player in presidential politics. Besides his grassroots organization that mobilizes millions of evangelical Christians to get out and vote, he is in close contact with many of the presidential candidates and arranges big events for GOP hopefuls in front of large evangelical audiences.
Reed says the religious liberty issue won’t only be talked about from a domestic standpoint but from an international one as well. He’s outraged over the, “systematic attempted extermination” of entire Christian communities in Syria, Egypt and Iraq.
“These were countries where the Christian faith took root first after it left historic Israel, those faith communities, those Christian communities go back over one thousand years,” Reed says. “When you see the beheadings and when you see Christians having to flee countries because they’re being told they have to convert or be executed it seems to me on some level U.S. foreign policy has to make religious freedom and being a protector of people’s faiths a priority.”