Evangelical leader Billy Graham has urged Americans to 'vote for biblical values', in an implicit endorsement of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, a Mormon.
The message of support came on Thursday after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed an article on its website that had said Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Unification Church and Scientologists belong to 'cults'.
In a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, Graham, who turns 94 the day after the November 6 election, said the upcoming vote could be his last.
'I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel,' the founder of the stadium-filling Billy Graham Crusades sermons said.
'I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a women,' he added.
'Vote for biblical values this November 6 and pray with me that American will remain one nation under God.'
Graham's ad came a week to the day after Romney - a practising Mormon who opposes abortion, rejects same-sex marriage and favours strong US-Israel ties - met the influential evangelist in North Carolina to woo his support.
His organisation was coy about the removal of the anti-Mormon article.
'We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicised during this campaign,' Graham's chief of staff Ken Barun said.
If elected, Romney would be the first US president from the Mormon faith, which was founded in the United States in the 19th century but which some Christians refuse to recognise as a legitimate church.
Graham is among the most popular Christian preachers in the world, and his mass gatherings and televised sermons played a major role in reviving the US evangelical movement.
He has been invited to the White House by every president since Harry Truman, and former president George W. Bush attributed his decision to stop drinking at the age of 40 to a discussion with Graham.
President Barack Obama, who is running a close race with Romney in hopes of winning a second White House term, travelled to Graham's mountaintop home in Mountreat, North Carolina in April 2010, where they spoke for 35 minutes.