A man ordered to remove his ‘Jesus Saves’ T-shirt or leave a shopping mall has said he would rather ‘go to jail or die’ than take it off.
During a lengthy and rambling hour long video posted to YouTube on Monday, Paul Shoro, was still wearing the same fluorescent shirt a security guard at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota told him to either take off or leave the premises.
Shoro, who hails from Ethiopia, defended his actions, explaining his presence in the U.S. as a request from God.
He claimed he was at the mall to hand out gospel tracks – sheets of paper on which portions of scripture are written.
In the video, a security guard at the nation’s largest shopping mall could be heard telling the Shoro: ‘If you want to shop here you need to take off that shirt’.
Another clip shows the same guard saying: ‘Jesus is associated with religion and it is offending people. People have been offended.’
During a YouTube interview since, Shoro said: ‘He told me what to do. Go into the street and preach the Gospel. I ordered t-shirts. Everything I have is Jesus, man. Hallelujah!
‘The Lord delivered me from the darkness. He anointed me and finally by the time I was in Washington D.C. he said ‘Hey son, I need you to go to Minnesota.”
‘I started going to Mall of America and met tens of thousands of people but they stopped me preaching the gospel.’
Shoro says he was asked by a security guard to remove his shirt but he refused.
‘When I was asked to take it off I said I would rather go to jail or die than take off my shirt,’ he stated.
‘Some people think we judge them but we don’t. We go out to preach and help these people. I was so nice to them. I know my purpose. I didn’t go there to fight.’
Shoro said other shoppers were supportive of him, telling the security guard he had freedom of speech and was allowed to wear the shirt under the law.
The video which was recorded on January 7 has prompted outrage online with one group organizing a protest at the Mall where they intend to wear their own ‘Jesus Saves’ shirts.
A spokesman for Mall of America told DailyMail.com Shoro was ultimately allowed to remain in the mall still wearing his shirt following the incident.
In the original clip, the preacher can be seen in his bright yellow T-shirt branding the religious slogan.
The back of the shirt reads ‘Jesus is the only way’ while the popular ‘coexist’ – symbol – which advocates different religions living alongside each other peacefully – is crossed out.
The videos have now been shared across TikTok and Twitter, while one was livestreamed to Facebook on January 7.
One week prior, he had also been issued with a 24-hour trespass for ‘soliciting guests’.
During the tense exchange, three security guards surround the man.
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.’
The guard replies: ‘Again, I’m giving you a couple options. 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? Those are your only options right now,.’
The officer later claimed he was engaging in ‘religious soliciting,’ which the mall forbids.
Shoro kept insisting throughout the video that he was not attempting to preach but was simply wearing the shirt while shopping.
Mall policies prohibit ‘inappropriate attire,’ including apparel that ‘has obscene language, obscene gestures or racial/religious/ethnic slurs that are likely to create a disturbance.’
The Mall also forbids ‘picketing, demonstrating, soliciting, protesting or petitioning.’
Shoro had been asked on a different day to leave the mall because he was preaching. This time, however, he appears to have just walking around the mall.
A guard is heard saying: ‘Yes, you’re walking wearing that shirt in the form of soliciting and we’ve had guests come up and say they’re offended by your shirt.’
The posts have attracted mass outrage online.
A Twitter user called John Mason captioned the video: ‘I automatically assumed this was overseas, but it’s right here in America.’
Another user Wyatt Sullivan replied: ‘If I ever go to the Mall of America again, I’m wearing the biggest Jesus shirt I can find.’
Meanwhile Pastor Chase Thompson wrote: ‘He should sue them into oblivion.
‘This wouldn’t have happened anywhere in the U.S. until very recently, and it certainly wouldn’t have happened if he’d had a pride shirt on and even 50 people complained.’
A group called Bloomington Patriots plans to hold a demonstration at the mall on February 4 and is asking attendees to wear ‘Jesus shirts.’
A spokesman for the Mall said: ‘The guest referenced in the video was approached by Mall of America security on January 7, 2023. One week prior, he was issued a 24-hour trespass for soliciting guests. After a brief interaction, the guest was not required to change his shirt and was allowed to remain at the Mall.’