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Concerts Urge Youth to Vote

"If Christians don't step up in their term, as far as the voting goes, and make their voice be heard," Lichlyter said, "I think the church in general, as a whole, is going to feel the effect."
Jun 01, 2004 05:21 PM EDT

Young people who attend Christian music festivals this summer may come home with more than a sunburn -- they also may be newly registered voters. It's all part of a movement to register young Christians called "Redeem the Vote."

The effort will target Christian music artists popular with youth and will feature voter registration booths at concerts and festivals. In addition, the movement has a Web site, e-mail, even text messaging on cell phones.

Dr. Randy Brinson, who created the effort, said the goal is to reach as many young people as possible -- and to reach them where they live.

"Between 1992 and 2000, of the evangelicals who were registered to vote, 6 million didn't participate," Brinson said, adding that another 25 to 30 million aren't even registered.

"Young people want to do something, they want to exercise their faith, they want to make a difference in their country," he said. "This is one way that we can hopefully motivate them and get them involved."

Jonah 33 is one of the bands that will encourage young people from the stage to register and vote. Lead singer Vince Lichlyter has donated a song to the effort with the lyric, "God gave you a voice, so come on, come on, it's time to make a choice, 'cause silence never speaks."

He said it's time for Christians to be "salt and light" through the voting process.

"If Christians don't step up in their term, as far as the voting goes, and make their voice be heard," Lichlyter said, "I think the church in general, as a whole, is going to feel the effect."