PLANO, Texas (AP) — Six Republican presidential candidates have made personal appeals to thousands of Christian conservatives at a megachurch in suburban Dallas, underscoring the importance of the evangelical vote.

The candidate forum at Prestonwood Baptist Church featured Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Front-runner Donald Trump didn't attend.

Prestonwood Pastor Jack Graham said all of the major candidates from both parties were invited to attend, but only Republicans accepted. Graham identified the 7,000 people in attendance as evangelical "Christians who believe the Bible."

The candidates answered questions about their personal faith and how they would apply it to public policy.

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