On Tuesday, PJ Media posted an article about a Pastor who was arrested at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Ramin Parsa is a Christian pastor who fled Iran as a religious refugee.
The article reports:
Parsa, a pastor at Redemptive Love Ministries International in Los Angeles, Calif., traveled to Minnesota for two days to visit two different churches. He went to the Mall of America (MOA) on Saturday, August 25, with an elder from one of the churches, and with the elder’s 14-year-old son. Shortly after entering the mall, he struck up a conversation with two Somali-American women.
“Our conversation was casual. At first, we were not talking about the gospel,” Parsa recalled. “They asked me, ‘Are you a Muslim?’ I said, ‘No, I used to be a Muslim and I’m a Christian now.’ I was telling them the story of how I converted.”
A passerby could not stand the discussion, however. “Another lady told the guard, ‘This guy is harassing us!'” MOA security came and told Parsa to stop soliciting. “I said, ‘We’re not soliciting.’ But we just left,” the pastor explained.
The pastor and his friends went into a coffee shop, bought a latte, and came out. Parsa told PJ Media he thought that would be the end of it. He was sorely mistaken.
“When we came out of the coffee shop, three guards were waiting for us, and they arrested me right there,” the pastor recalled. “They came after me and arrested me, and said, ‘You cannot talk religion here.'”
Parsa told security he was a pastor. “They told me, ‘We arrested pastors before,'” he recalled, still shocked by the answer. “It was something normal for them, they were used to it.”
Meanwhile, the two Somali-American women who wanted to hear the pastor’s story argued with the woman who reported him to security. They defended Parsa. Onlookers asked why the man was being arrested. “They said, ‘Because he’s a Christian,'” Parsa told PJ Media.
That is not supposed to happen in America.
He was held at the Mall by security until the police came. During that time he was denied water and trips to the bathroom.
The article continues:
After nearly four hours, the police arrived.
“The police came to open my handcuffs, and the handcuffs were very tight. It was hurting my hands,” Parsa recalled. “The guard said, ‘I don’t think it hurts that much.'”
He suggested that the security guards treated him with special malice because he is a pastor. “I believe they treated me worse,” he insisted.
The Mall of America did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment.
After the police took the pastor’s mugshot and fingerprints, they charged him with criminal trespassing. He paid $78 to bail himself out, and his friends picked him up at 2 a.m. While that bail amount may seem low, the pastor insisted, “Every cent is too much for something I haven’t done.”
“I’ve gone through this before — in Muslim countries I was arrested for passing out bibles,” Parsa said. “I didn’t expect that would happen in America. As a citizen in America, I have rights. They denied my basic rights.”
The article concludes:
While Parsa lives in California, he will have to appear in a Minnesota court to face the charges. He told PJ Media, “We just consulted with a lawyer — we’re going to fight this, to drop the charges.”
If the pastor can confirm his story, it seems the Mall of America may end up facing charges.
This is not the first time Christians have been arrested in America for sharing The Gospel with Muslims. In 2012, a group of Christians was arrested for preaching outside an Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan (article here). The Islamic religion does not recognize free speech as a right. We need to make sure that Muslims who settle here understand that free speech is a right in America and will be protected. The arrest of the Pastor at the Mall of America is a disgrace to America. I hope the Pastor sues the Mall for damages and uses the money to build a beautiful church!