A shopper at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota was recently ordered to remove a shirt he was wearing or be kicked out of the mall. The same mall had hosted a “family friendly” drag show the year prior.
The shirt the man was wearing said “Jesus Saves” on the front and “Jesus is the only way” on the back with the “Coexist” symbol crossed out.
Multiple videos were taken of the man’s encounter with mall security guards. One of the videos appears to have been livestreamed on Jan. 7.
In the video, one of the security guards could be heard saying, “Jesus is associated with religion and it’s offending people,” as he asked the man to either remove his shirt or leave.
“All we were asking you is to take your shirt off and you can go to Macy’s or you can leave,” the guard continued.
In an interview on YouTube after the incident, the man with the “Jesus Saves” shirt identified himself as Paul Shoro, an immigrant from Ethiopia.
Shoro said he had previously been expelled from the mall on Christmas eve and ordered to stay out for 24 hours.
Shoro said he was accused of “religious soliciting” at the mall during his Jan. 7 encounter. In the video, he can be heard saying, “I didn’t say anything though. I didn’t speak. I didn’t say anything. I just went to Macy’s.”
Another guard responded by saying that just wearing the shirt and walking around the mall is enough to be considered “religious soliciting.”
In another portion of the video, which appeared to have been taken later on in their encounter, hundreds of patrons could be seen standing nearby and watching the exchange. One of the security guards can be heard, now shouting, “if you want to shop here, you need to take that shirt off.”
“Again, sir, it is religious soliciting. There is no soliciting allowed on mall property, which is private property,” the guard continued shouting at Shoro.
A representative for the mall told the Daily Mail the security guards eventually gave up and let Shoro carry on.
“After a brief interaction, the guest was not required to change his shirt and was allowed to remain at the Mall,” the mall representative told the Daily Mail.
Shoro’s encounter with mall security came almost exactly a year after the Mall of America hosted and promoted an “all ages, family friendly drag show” on Jan. 21, 2022.