Trial Pending for Ex-Muslim Christian Pastor Arrested for Sharing His Testimony in Minnesota
Ramin Parsa, the former Muslim Christian pastor and refugee from Iran who was arrested for trespassing after sharing his testimony at the Mall of America (MOA) in August, faces a pre-trial hearing on December 11 and a formal trial shortly thereafter, unless prosecutors drop the charges.
Parsa's lawyer attended a hearing on Election Day and laid out his case. "He explained to the prosecutors our side of the story, they asked for witnesses, he presented the witnesses, they gave a pre-trial for December 11," Parsa, a pastor at Redemptive Love Ministries International in Los Angeles, Calif., told PJ Media on Tuesday.
"If they don't drop the charges, then it goes to trial," he added. As for witnesses, the two men who went to the mall with him have agreed to testify, as have all the members of the church where he was preaching at the time.
In an interview with PJ Media, Parsa recapped the story.
"On Saturday, August 25, I was speaking at a church. After the church service, one of the elders and his 14-year-old son offered to show me the biggest mall in North America," he explained.
"We went to the mall, randomly ran into some Somalis, we had a random conversation. They asked me where I'm from," Parsa said. "I told them, and the conversation led to whether I was a Muslim or not. I replied, 'I used to be but I'm a Christian now.' They asked me, 'Why did you change?'"
While he was giving his testimony, "another woman who was not part fo the conversation went and complained to the security. The guard came, he said, 'You can't solicit here.' I told them we were not soliciting. He just said, 'Bye,' and walked away."
After Parsa, the pastor, and his son grabbed some coffee, "three guards were waiting for me and said, 'You must leave now.' I asked why. They said, 'You're soliciting.' I said, 'No, we are not.' I was explaining to them that I'm from out of state, I'm here as a guest, I'm here to see the mall."
"That's when they grabbed my coffee, handcuffed me, and took me to the underground mall jail," he recalled. "They patted me down, handcuffed me to a metal chair that was bolted to the ground. They refused to give me water, refused to let me go to the restroom except right before the police came. When I was taken to jail after 3 hours, I was hungry and thirsty."
"Police didn't even ask me what happened — they just read what the mall told them," Parsa told PJ Media. He even had to bail himself out.