Pokemon Go Player Being Charged with Inciting Religious Hatred for Playing in a Church
Russian Prosecutors are asking for 3.5 years of prison time for 22-year-old blogger and Pokemon Go player Ruslan Sokolovsky. His crime? Playing the hit mobile game in a Russian church.
The official charge is for “incitement to hatred and attacks on the liberty of faith.” The trial, begun back in November, has now concluded. Sentencing is set to take place on May 11th, 2017. The trouble started when Sokolovsky posted a video of him playing the game inside the Church of All Saints on August 11th. The Russian Orthodoxy Church stated that the nature of the video was more problematic than the act of playing the game. The church is allegedly built on the site where Tsar Nicholas II and his family lost their lives.
This isn’t the first time someone has been arrested in Russia on this particular charge. The punk band Pussy Riot also ended up in prison for two years for a protest concert held in a church. While Russia has never been branded as a terribly lenient nation, it seems like churches are an absolute no-go zone if you want to stay out of jail. Sokolovsky may face up to 7.5 years in prison for his crime, assuming the maximum possible sentence is carried out.