Teenagers are harassing the street preachers outside YouTube's convention

Religious protests teenagers youtube vidcon 2015 2401Melia Robinson/Business InsiderTeens swarmed street preachers outside VidCon.

Teenaged attendees collided with religious advocates outside VidCon, YouTube’s annual conference in Anaheim, California, this week.

Because if there’s one place a street preacher would like to be challenged, it’s a convention center filled with 20,000 fiery teens.

Jason Roberts — who wore a San Diego Fire Department t-shirt and baseball cap — plus his crew of three to four minors arrived on scene on preview day, hoisting signs that read, “Your sins separate you from God,” and “Repent! And believe in Jesus.”

A crowd of teens orbited around him almost constantly during the three-day convention, arguing Roberts’ right to “tell them what to do.”

Roberts’ cohort passed out folding cards labelled as “Get out of hell free cards,” with instructions for the path to righteousness.

“This card is bent,” said a gangly blonde in a red summer dress. “Does that mean it’s going to hell because it’s not straight?”


Religious protests teenagers youtube vidcon 2015 2416Melia Robinson/Business InsiderA teenager hands out ‘Get out of hell free card’ passes at VidCon.

“Honestly,” a young man sighed, “I’m not giving you permission to hold that,” pointing at the sign.

“You don’t have to,” Roberts said.

Attendees who downloaded VidCon’s mobile app received notifications throughout the week, encouraging them to ignore their presence.

“Please do not engage with the protesters in the plaza,” the notification read. “They’re a fixture of the [Anaheim Convention Center] and if they are left alone, they will leave.”

Religious protests teenagers youtube vidcon 2015 2407Melia Robinson/Business InsiderOne young woman attempted to diffuse the situation, saying, ‘What you’re doing is as much bullying as what he’s doing.’

Roberts told us that the situation never became violent or threatening. Most teens participating in the swarm were “excited” by the chaos, and making mild attempts to “fuel the fire.”

“They’re all fine, they are who they are,” Roberts said. “We’re going to be passionate about what we believe — I hope.”

A security supervisor on duty at the Anaheim Convention Center, who declined to give his name, also said no to commenting on the situation.

Attendees took to social media to express their discontent.