Pokemon-playing blogger guilty of inciting religious hatred in central Russia
A Russian judge has found a blogger guilty of “inciting religious hatred” after he played the interactive mobile game ‘Pokemon Go’ in an Orthodox church.
22-year-old Ruslan Sokolovsky was given a suspended sentence for filming himself playing the game in the Church of All Saints, in Yekaterinburg in August 2016.
He was also sentenced to 160 hours of community service and ordered not to appear in public places.
The video has now been watched nearly 2 million times, and begins with Sokolovsky asking: “How can one offend by entering a church with a smartphone? I decided to just catch some Pokemon in church because, why not?”.
Local prosecutors said Sokolovsky could have faced up to five years in jail for ‘offending religious sensibilities’.
Yevgeny Roizman, the mayor of Yekaterinburg, described the charges as a “disgrace”, adding “you can’t arrest a man for idiocy”.