Just a week after meeting and nearly endorsing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at his Montreat, N.C., home, an ailing Rev. Billy Graham is encouraging votes for candidates supporting "biblical values" that include opposition to gay marriage.

In full-page ads that will appear in more than a dozen national and battleground state newspapers before Nov. 6, Graham, 93, appeals to voters to "pray with me that America will remain one nation under God."

"I realize this election could be my 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. I urge you to vote for those who protect the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman," says a full-page ad that will appear Friday in USA Today and that ran Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.

Last week, Romney met with Graham and his son, Franklin, who leads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The elder Graham stopped short of an endorsement, but told Romney that he would do "all I can to help you."

Franklin Graham first met Romney in 2006, when he was mulling his first presidential run. His organization bought the ads using donations from "a number of friends who support the ministry," according to a statement.

A spokesman for Graham said that the meeting with Romney and the ad campaign does not represent an endorsement of the candidate, though Romney is the only major presidential candidate who does not support same-sex marriage. Obama declared his support of same-sex marriage earlier this year; the president met Graham once in April 2010.

“This ad is consistent with both the mission of the [Billy Graham Evangelistic Association] and Billy Graham’s personal methodology to diligently and consistently remain politically neutral and non-partisan throughout his public ministry," said the spokesman, A. Larry Ross. "Against the backdrop of moral decline and a cultural shift in our nation that reflects timely issues, Mr. Graham’s quotation in the ad is an extension of his faithful preaching of a timeless message and strong stand on biblical values for more than six decades."

Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, made headlines in February after questioning Obama's Christianity and alluding to Obama possibly being a Muslim, and has been less discreet about his political support than his father. He wrote in a recent op-ed that Obama plans to rebuild America in what could amount to creating a "new nation without God or perhaps under many Gods."

But in a statement, a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association spokesman emphasized that "the ads intentionally do not mention any candidate, political party, or contest, urging instead for readers to cast votes for candidates -- at all levels -- based on their support for biblical values."

Graham rarely appears in public and speaks largely through written statements. He is ailing and has had several hospital stays in recent years. He remains an elder statesman among Christian evangelists in the U.S. Meeting with Graham has become almost a requirement for presidents or aspiring presidents, and he has met or prayed with every president since Harry Truman.

The meeting with Romney was particularly important, as the candidate's Mormon faith has turned off some evangelicals and Christian pastors. While the majority of Mormons identify as Christian, most Christians, including evangelicals, view them differently. After Romney met with Graham, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed a page from its website that called Mormonism as a "cult," along with Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, Spiritists and people in the Unification Church.

Click through the slideshow to see most and least Christian states in the United States:

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  • Utah

    78,438 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/Parowan_Utah_Church.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • North Dakota

    66,950 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Catholic_Church_in_Warsaw,_North_Dakota.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Alabama

    62,467 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:16th_Street_Baptist_Church.JPG" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Louisiana

    59,598 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St._Stephens_Episcopal_Church_(Innis,_Louisiana).jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Oklahoma

    58,598 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Catesby_Oklahoma_Church.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Mississippi

    58,342 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mississippi_Church.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • South Dakota

    58,212 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Methodist_Episcopal_Church_Pierre_South_Dakota.JPG" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Minnesota

    55,280 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Church_near_Flom,_Minnesota.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Massachusetts

    55,023 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sandwich_Church,_Massachusetts.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Arkansas

    54,985 Christian adherents per 100,000 people. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Our_Lady_of_Perpetual_Help_Church_silhouette_altus_arkansas.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Nebraska

    54,776 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Visitation_Church_%28O'Connor%2C_Nebraska%29_church_from_S.JPG" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Tennessee

    54,764 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/First_Baptist_Church_Donelson_Tennessee_04032012.JPG" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Rhode Island

    53,576 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Texas

    53,525 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Iowa

    53,403 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Wisconsin

    52,863 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Pennsylvania

    51,883 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Illinois

    51,442 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • South Carolina

    51,374 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Kentucky

    51,055 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Idaho

    50,695 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • District of Columbia

    49,903 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Kansas

    49,666 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • New Jersey

    49,575 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Georgia

    49,374 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Washington_(Georgia)_Presbyterian_Church.JPG" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Connecticut

    49,096 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • New Mexico

    49,044 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Missouri

    48,436 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • North Carolina

    46,737 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carolina_Baptist_Church.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • New York

    44,488 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. <br> Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Church_in_Rye,_New_York.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Indiana

    43,788 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Ohio

    42,744 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • California

    42,430 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Virginia

    41,304 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Michigan

    40,186 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Delaware

    39,575 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christ_Church,_Dover,_Delaware.JPG" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Wyoming

    39,341 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Maryland

    39,214 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Montana

    37,824 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Florida

    37,104 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Colorado

    36,461 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Hawaii

    36,103 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Arizona

    35,842 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • West Virginia

    35,211 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • New Hampshire

    34,617 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Nevada

    33,395 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/StJoanofArcCatholicChurch_in_Las_Vegas_founded_1910.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Washington

    33,065 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Methodist_Church_at_Historic_Washington_State_Park_IMG_1467.JPG" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Vermont

    32,954 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Alaska

    32,810 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Original photo <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Orthodox_church_in_Seldovia%2C_Alaska.jpg" target="_hplink">here</a>.

  • Oregon

    30,101 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

  • Maine

    27,098 Christian adherents per 100,000 persons.

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