Conservative Christians in America love Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. While other Republican presidential candidates, namely Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee, are also extremely popular with many Christians, particularly evangelicals, Cruz continues to pull in more and more of the conservative Christian vote. For the third year in the row, Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Presidential Straw Poll, “the largest gathering of evangelical voters from across the country.” His national poll numbers among Christians continue to climb, and, most importantly, he is increasingly winning the hearts and minds of the conservative Christian leadership.

So why do Christians gravitate toward Cruz? Here are five reasons.

1. Cruz is a Passionate Defender of Religious Liberty

No political leader is a stronger defender of religious liberty than Cruz, who has pushed back strongly against the erosion of Constitutional rights, battling “liberal fascists” during a time when religious freedom has been tested in this country to a degree it has not seen in recent history.

“We were founded by men and women fleeing religious persecution,” Cruz said at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition summit this year. “We need leaders who will stand unapologetically in defense of the Judeo-Christian values upon which America was built.”

2. Cruz Is Unafraid to Take On the 'Anti-Christian' Left

Cruz is a fighter, repeatedly proving that he’s not only willing to go to bat for Christians, he will call out those whom he perceives to be “anti-Christian”—particularly those on the radical left.

“Today’s Democratic Party has decided there is no room for Christians in today’s Democratic Party,” Cruz said in April. In an interview on Sean Hannity's show in October, Cruz responded to the president’s claim in the New York Review of Books that “it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious of those not like them.” Cruz told Hannity that Obama’s comment was indicative of the “strong anti-American streak” and “antipathy for Christians” among those, like Obama, on the “far left.”

Cruz went on to praise America—which is still a majority Christian country—as “an incredible force of good in this world” which has “spilled more blood” for freedom than any other country. “And yet, the far-left, out of which Barack Obama arose, despises American leadership in the world,” said Cruz.

3.Cruz Appears to be a Genuine Believer

By all accounts, Cruz is not just “politicking” about his Christian principles. One moment captured on a cell phone after a campaign event in October revealed just one example of many in which Cruz demonstrated his genuine belief in the power of prayer and his pastoral inclinations (still shot from Facebook post below):

4. Cruz Is Unapologetically Pro-Life

Cruz is a passionate and vocal pro-life advocate, having “played a leading role in several important cases, including defense of the partial-birth abortion ban, parental consent laws, and prohibiting state funds from going to abortion.” He opposes the public funding of abortion and has railed against Planned Parenthood, which receives half a billion dollars annually from the government. When the shocking videos showing high-level Planned Parenthood officials discussing the company’s fetal body part trade were first released, Cruz rallied evangelicals in an effort to defund the group. When the Republican House leadership caved to pressure and failed to eliminate public funding to the nation’s leading provider of abortion, Cruz blasted those who “failed to lift a finger to protect life.”

“We were founded by men and women fleeing religious persecution. We need leaders who will stand unapologetically in defense of the Judeo-Christian values upon which America was built.”

Senator Ted Cruz

5. Cruz Is Strongly Pro-Israel

Cruz has consistently come to the defense of Israel, which is an important issue for most American Christians—particularly evangelicals—and has been undermined repeatedly by Obama since early in his presidency. Cruz has frequently praised Israel as America’s most important ally in the Middle East and a beacon of freedom and tolerance in a troubled region. He’s also made clear that he is an advocate for Jews, who share significant beliefs and values with Christians.

Perhaps no Republican candidate has been more vocal than Cruz condemning the Iran nuclear deal, which was staunchly opposed by Israel and which conservative Christians rejected overwhelmingly.