A large rally was held on Saturday at Minnesota’s Mall of America as dozens turned out in support of the man who was assailed by security guards last month for daring to wear a t-shirt with “Jesus Saves” written on it, a shirt that the guards called “offensive.”
The story began on Jan. 7 when Christian preacher Paul Shoro was told by security guards at the giant Minneapolis shopping Mecca that he would have to remove his shirt if he was going to remain in the mall.
One of the guards revealed his part in the war on religion telling Shoro, “Jesus is associated with religion, and it’s offending people. People have been offended.”
The guard went on to lay out Shoro’s “options,” which included, “You can take the shirt off, and you can go to Macy’s, and you can do your shopping. Or you can leave the mall, OK?” The guard added, “Those are your only options right now.”
Video of Shoro’s encounter soon went viral:
I automatically assumed this was overseas, but it’s right here in America. pic.twitter.com/Q79eUCG7xh
— John Mason (@LivingGodsTruth) January 12, 2023
According to Alpha News, the crisis over the shirt passed, and Shoro was allowed to remain in the mall.
This was not the first time Shoro was threatened by the mall’s guards. He was also reportedly told to leave the mall for preaching during an earlier encounter, and he was reportedly told he could not come back for 24 hours.
Being told not to hand out fliers was one thing, but Shoro added that banning his shirt in this new assault on religious liberty was the last straw.
“I used to go out and hand out fliers with Bible verses. They told me I could not do that anymore, so I started going with just my t-shirt. Then they started giving me a hard time about my t-shirt,” he said. “I would rather die than take off my t-shirt.”
The latest episode in this saga occurred on Saturday when a large group of supporters — many wearing their own “Jesus Saves” shirts — crowded into the Mall of America to show support for Shoro and to exercise their religious freedom.
Protesters gathered at the Mall of America this afternoon with “Jesus is the only way” shirts pic.twitter.com/WdpVfR8hoM
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) February 4, 2023
Event organizer Lucaj Groppoli, who organized the march on Facebook, urged supporters to disperse throughout the mall but asked them not to cause disturbances.
“We are gathering at the MOA with our shirts on, this is NOT a protest,” Groppoli told supporters.
A group of about 75 people gathered outside a store in the mall, but one participant estimated there were hundreds of demonstrators walking around.
Event participant Larry Goeddel told Alpha News that he was there to support religious freedom.
“You can probably walk around here and see many shirts that say things that would be offensive that they would probably leave alone. Why this shirt?” Goeddel said. ” It’s just odd to me that it would be a problem. If he’s just professing his faith through his shirt, to me it’s a free speech issue.”
Despite the peaceful gathering, mall security once again jumped in to cancel the marchers. Alpha News added that security threatened to call the police on marchers and then gathered a force of their own to have the participants escorted out of the mall. The Christian marchers were threatened with arrest if they did not leave.
The disgust over the actions of the security guards is real. We are living in an America — a country literally founded on religious liberty — where it is becoming commonplace to see the religious freedom of Christians routinely violated in public and private spaces. We will permanently lose our freedoms unless we emulate this group of marchers and speak up to oppose the destruction of our rights.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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