Evangelical shoppers unwelcome

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
 | 
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (OneNewsNow.com)

A California legal group is filing suit against a shopping mall for threatening a Christian who shared his faith with other shoppers.

The lawsuit, filed by the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), alleges that management and officers at the Visalia Mall threatened and harassed John Vadnais, a church elder, for sharing his faith. It also claims that they called the police out to intimidate him.

Dacus, Brad (PJI)PJI president Brad Dacus tells OneNewsNow Vadnais was told he could not talk to strangers about religion.

"No one should be threatened with arrest for peacefully communicating their beliefs to willing listeners," he asserts. "In California, large shopping malls are deemed the equivalent of public forums. It is both intolerant and illegal for the Visalia Mall to suppress speech just because it's religious."

Vadnais often visited the mall to shop and eat, and he shared his faith with other shoppers.

PJI won a similar suit in 2010 involving a youth pastor who was arrested for sharing his faith with Roseville Gallaria shoppers who were willing to listen.

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