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Stryper: A Message of Salvation Through Heavy Metal

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Stryper is a Christian metal band that was formed in 1983. This band from Orange County, California was the first Christian heavy metal band that gained recognition; they are considered pioneers of the popularization of Christian rock music. Stryper was extremely successful in the late 1980’s. In the early 1990’s, Stryper separated but they reunited in 2003 in order to return to the Christian music scene. The current members of Stryper are: Michael Sweet (guitars and vocals from 1983 to 1992 and since 2003), Oz Fox (lead guitars from 1983 to 1992 and since 2003), Robert Sweet (drums from 1983 to 1992 and since 2003) and Tracy Ferrie (bass since 2004). Tim Gaines was the bassist from 1983 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2004.

The name Stryper was chosen by the band from a verse of the Bible. The verse is Isaiah 53:5 and it says: “But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we are healed.” It has been said that the name of the band is an acronym that means: Salvation Through Redemption, Yielding Peace, Encouragement, and Righteousness. Stryper offers a message of salvation that gave them the approval of a sector of the media; however, some conservative religious groups do not approve of the fact that they are using heavy metal to share their message. Some personalities of the music industry believe that the message of Stryper is not compatible with heavy metal.

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