A Saturday rally at Minnesota’s Mall of America brought out scores of Christians supporting a man booted by security guards for wearing a shirt that said “Jesus Saves.”
Mall officers deemed the message “offensive” and told Christian preacher Paul Shoro that he had to remove the shirt or leave.
The original incident unfolded on Jan. 7 when Shoro wore his shirt into the massive shopping center. He was confronted by security guards, one of whom told him that “if you want to shop here you need to take off that shirt.”
The guard added that “Jesus is associated with religion, and it’s offending people. People have been offended.” Shoro was told that his options were to take his shirt off and continue shopping “or you can leave the mall.”
On Jan. 7, Mall of America security asked Paul Shoro to take off his "Jesus Saves" t-shirt or leave the mall, viral footage shows. Shoro opened up to @DailySignal, revealing the real story of what happened. https://t.co/tfnoIjSeel
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) January 18, 2023
To be clear, mall policies ban “inappropriate attire.” This broad category includes clothing that “has obscene language, obscene gestures or racial/religious/ethnic slurs that are likely to create a disturbance.”
Actions such as picketing, demonstrating or soliciting are also prohibited.
Shoro, who hails from Ethiopia, told the employees that he would rather “go to jail or die” than remove his shirt. The confrontation blew over, however, and he was allowed to remain in the mall.
It was not the first time Shoro drew the ire of the nation’s largest retail center. During a previous encounter, he was told to cease preaching and that he was not allowed back for 24 hours.
He admitted that he no longer attempts to hand out religious tracts, but simply wearing his fluorescent shirt should not have offended anyone.
It was not long before video of this latest incident began spreading online. As word got around, plans were made to bring a group of Shoro’s supporters to the shopping mecca — many of whom wore their own “Jesus Saves” shirts.
Organizer Lucaj Groppoli used social media to put the march together and asked supporters to walk through the mall proudly displaying their garments. Walkers insisted they were not there to disrupt business and that it was not a protest.
A group of about 75 of the faithful gathered outside of one store, and some estimated there were hundreds scattered throughout the mall. As with Shoro last month, mall security reportedly organized to counter the marchers and told them they would face arrest if they did not leave.