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Battle for Teen Hearts, Souls Resumes in Detroit

BattleCry, spearheaded by youth ministry Teen Mania, is ready to make waves again as more than 30,000 teens rally in Detroit for a generation taken over by secular culture.
( [email protected] ) Apr 13, 2007 03:49 PM EDT

BattleCry is ready to make waves again as more than 30,000 teens rally in Detroit for a generation taken over by secular culture.

The major youth movement, spearheaded by youth ministry Teen Mania, left over 22,000 in San Francisco seeking the cross of Jesus Christ and rejecting the pervasive influences of American culture today. This weekend, the "reverse rebellion" resumes, beginning at The Grand Circus Park where faith-fueled teens and young adults will shout a battle cry that has garnered prominent media attention.

"It's a battle. It's a very real battle. It's a spiritual battle for their heart and soul, so we tell them about how they can come close to the Lord. But it is also a cultural war, and essentially we live in a Christian country with a very un-Christian culture," said Teen Mania founder Ron Luce, according to ABC News.

After nearly 20 years of youth ministry, Luce began sounding the alarm on the urgent need to take back the youth generation for Christ – a generation that he says is more saturated with media influence than any other. He also warns that only 4 percent of teenagers will be Bible-believing Christians as adults unless they do something now.

"This generation of kids is very different from their predecessors," commented Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson on a Mar. 22 broadcast. He cited a Barna survey that found only 5 percent of teens qualifies as evangelical Christians. Almost 90 percent of teens have viewed pornography online and fear of violence in school is now the leading worry of public school teens, he further noted.

"If we don't turn this thing around, then within another generation it'll be gone altogether," said Dobson, alluding to another study that claims a sharp decline from 65 percent of the World War II generation that will be Bible-believing Christians as adults to 35 percent of baby boomers to 4 percent of today's teenagers.

Tens of thousands of teens will fill Detroit's Ford Field Apr. 20-21 to worship God with Christian rock bands, including Grammy nominees P.O.D. and Tye Tribbett, and to hear a counter-culture message by Luce.

"We connect with teens through culturally-relevant rallies that include top artists, edgy messages, eye-popping images, even pyrotechnics – but we deliver a radically different, counter-culture message," said Luce in a statement. "We are equipping teens to lead passionate, character-filled lives; finding their sense of purpose in God, not in society or culture."

BattleCry kicked off in 2006 drawing some 75,000 teens in three major cities. Last year's Detroit event proved to be a "defining moment in history" for the city, one unidentified student said, as 35,000 had filled the stadium.