Wikipedia defines religious persecution as "the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or affiliations."
Let's be clear. Teen Mania Ministries isn't being bashed because they are a Christian organization--it's because they run extremely dangerous & irresponsible events like ESOAL. David Hasz isn't coming under fire because he talks about Jesus--it's because he has repeatedly and unapologetically lied about numerous Honor Academy programs, only the latest of which is ESOAL. Dave would love to be able to spin all this negative publicity into people seeing him as a huge martyr, but the fact of the matter is that nothing is currently happening to Dave Hasz that he didn't bring on himself with his decision to be dishonest.
Unless the Teen Mania cheerleaders think Jesus was somehow "persecuting" the pharisees when he called them out on their nonsense in public, they ought to re-think their position on what's really going on with all this recent Teen Mania controversy.