Thousands of US Teens Cry Out Against Secularism Despite Persecution

The popular American Battle Cry event returned to San Francisco this weekend, with more than 22,000 teens against secular culture.

The popular American Battle Cry event returned to San Francisco this weekend, with more than 22,000 teens against secular culture.

San Francisco's government, again, tried to go against one of the largest Christian youth movements in the nation, after city officials gave a loud unwelcome last year to teens protesting secularism.

According to a press release, city officials imposed customised noise restrictions, banning amplified sound before 10:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m.

"What's so offensive about teens finding hope in God and not in a bed, a bottle, or a pill?" said Charlotte Hamilton, 18, one of the organisers of BattleCry, in the release.

BattleCry kicked off last year as an initiative of Teen Mania and saw around 75,000 teens and young adults embrace God and reject MTV pop culture. With youth saturated with more media influence and sexuality than any other generation, according to the organisation, Teen Mania founder Ron Luce has been hitting cities nationwide nonstop to win the young generation to Christ.

The movement takes the form of a "reverse rebellion" rally followed by a stadium event where tens of thousands of youth rock to Christian bands.

Noise restrictions in San Francisco, however, may impede BattleCry's morning worship session on Saturday.

"This ordinance is directed specifically at our teenagers and our event this weekend," said Luce about the new restriction. "We don't know the motivation of the city, but we can't let the voices of 25,000 teenagers in worship to God be silenced."

Although Teen Mania will abide by the law, Hamilton guarantees that the voices of 22,000 teens will be heard.

"We will not be silent!" Teen Mania states in a message to San Francisco.
Protests, however, are also coming from the churches.

"My main concern is the effect it has on teenagers. They mistake adrenaline for the Holy Spirit," said Mark Cox, a pastor at Bethel Christian Church in the Mission District, told The San Francisco Chronicle. "They're looking for an emotional high rather than a faith that will endure through hard times, not just on the mountaintop."

Local pastors said that the event's combative language only perpetuates barriers between Christians and their neighbours, feeding stereotypes of a culture war, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the war is already under way by media assaulting the youth generation with cultural pollution, Luce told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"They're pillaging these kids," he said.

Luce's method is "not doing ministry 'business as usual.'" And unless he and the churches act now, he fears losing the cultural battle within the next decade.

"There's a problem. We need to do something about it," Luce says.

BattleCry began Friday at the San Francisco City Hall with a Reverse Rebellion rally. The event moved to the AT&T Park that evening and continued Saturday morning.

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