More than 2,500 religious leaders to Obama: Contraception mandate ‘a severe blow to our religious liberty’

More than 2,500 evangelical and ministry leaders from a range of denominations have signed a letter to President Obama voicing their opposition to the administration’s new mandate requiring that all health insurance plans contain contraceptive coverage.

The socially conservative Family Research Council unveiled the letter Monday afternoon.

FRC President Tony Perkins explained to The Daily Caller that the contraception mandate is not a Catholic issue or a contraception issue, but rather an issue of religious freedom.

“[The undersigned] see this, are very alarmed by this and are asking for the president to rescind this attack on religious freedom,” Perkins said in an interview with The Daily Caller.

The letter lays out the leaders’ opposition to the administration’s contraception mandate, writing that it violates the consciences of those whose religion prohibits certain methods of birth control.

“This mandate was not necessary, nor warranted under the provision of ‘preventive care services for women’ contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” the religious leaders wrote. “Worse still is the fact that the mandate essentially ignores the conscience rights of many Catholic and Protestant Americans. Our country was founded on certain freedoms, the first of which is the freedom of religion.”

FRC is still gathering signatures and will be delivering the letter to the president in the coming weeks. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Affordable Care Act)

“For those who write this off as a Catholic doctrine issue, that is not what this is being seen as,” Perkins added. “This is an issue of religious freedom and that is the point that is being made by these evangelical leaders and pastors that have signed on.”