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  • 05.01.17

A Russian man is facing jail time for playing “Pokémon Go” in church

Ruslan Sokolovsky was detained by Russian officials in September 2016 after posting a video to YouTube showing him playing Pokémon Go in Yekaterinburg’s Church of All Saints. Pokémon Go was all the rage in 2016 and Sokolovsky wanted to “catch the rarest Pokémon that you could find there—Jesus,” according to the Washington Post. While people used to having free speech and free religion might laugh at the joke, the 22-year-old blogger is facing a serious jail term for the video. 

Russian officials brought in legal experts to assess the video and they decided that Sokolovsky had equated Jesus Christ with the game’s characters (Charizard, maybe?) Sokolovsky was arrested soon after, and as the Washington Post reports, he has been in detention ever since. The last day of his trial was on Friday and despite his claim that he is “an idiot” but “by no means an extremist,” prosecutors requested a sentence of 3½ years in prison. He is due to be sentenced on May 11. If you want to protest his imprisonment consider joining forces with Amnesty International.

ML