For the most part, the “Pokémon Go” hype has died down significantly, but there are still plenty of people out there “catching ‘em all,” including a Russian blogger who was arrested for playing the video game in a church.
Ruslan Sokolovsky, 22, was hit with a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence after he uploaded a video of himself playing “Pokémon Go” inside the Church of All Saints located in Yekaterinburg, according to Mashable.
Sokolovsky was found guilty of “inciting religious hatred” and insulting religious believers. Ironically enough, the blogger posted the video as a response to reports that people can be fined or jailed for playing the game inside Russian churches.
He did make a Jesus joke, which of course wouldn’t sit well with devout churchgoers.
“But, you know, I didn't catch the rarest Pokémon that you could find there — Jesus,” he said in the video. “But I couldn't help it. They say [he] doesn't even exist, so I'm not really surprised.”
The incident occurred back in September, and Sokolovsky has been on house arrest awaiting trial ever since.
When it came time to face the judge, he pleaded not guilty and said the charges against him are reminiscent of those who were imprisoned for making communism jokes while Joseph Stalin was in power.
"I may be an idiot, but I am by no means an extremist," Sokolovksy reportedly said.
Additionally, he was found guilty of “illegal trafficking of special technical equipment” because of a pen with a video camera component that authorities found in his home.
Sokolovsky’s decision to catch Pokémon in the church and subsequently make wisecracks about religion may have been distasteful, but prison worthy? Not quite.
From the looks of it, he was just collateral damage in a larger plot to send a warning to citizens about disrespecting powerful entities, such as the church or the government.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Eduardo Woo