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The Russian who played Pokemon Go inside church is facing 3-4 years in prison

By Menahem Zen / 2017.05.02
Pokemon Go Craze Hits New York City on July 25, 2016 in New York City.

Ruslan Sokolovsky, a Russian blogger who played the Pokemon Go inside the church may face 3 to 4 years in prison. He was detained in September last year after playing Pokemon Go in the famous the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg.

Sokolovsky was accused of three charges by the prosecutor Yekaterina Kalinina, according to Washington Post. The first one is to incite hatred or enmity, offending religious believers and bringing equipment for covert illegal filming. The prosecutor requested the court to sentence him to three and a half year in prison.

The blogger, who claimed to be an atheist, denied the charge against him. He claimed that he is not an extremist and he went further by comparing the Russian Orthodox Church with Josef Stalin and communism.

However, according to the priest in the Yekaterinburg, Sokolovsky did his act on purpose. The priest said that he just wanted to insult the church, regardless of there were Pokemon inside the church or not. Based on that premise, his action is a violation of the Russian law for incitement of religious hatred, as reported by Kotaku.

His action was conducted last year as he entered the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg and posted his activity in YouTube. In the video, He made a joke about not being able to catch Jesus and questioning the Russian law regarding the law that sentence people for mocking Russian Orthodox Church.

Russian authority apprehended him, shortly after his video circulated on YouTube. He was detained in the prison since then and stand trial, which ended last Friday, April 28. The court will declare the verdict on May 11.

Since its release, Pokemon Go has triggered many protests for including temples, churches and historical place as the PokeStop. In India, a high court filed a complaint based on the alleged religious sentiment by placing Pokemon character in the temple in Gujarat. While in the U.S., the Holocaust Museum in Washington urged the players who gathered inside the museum to catch Pokemon to go out.

Watch the video from Sokolovsky that made him arrested for inciting religious hatred according to Russian law below:

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