Russia is still as strict as ever it turns out: they convicted and sentenced a young man who was caught playing Pokemon Go, a viral game, in a Russian church where the Russian Czar and his family was once held and killed. The church is known as a religious and historical monument.
Ruslan Sokolovsky has posted a video on his youtube channel last year of him playing the game at the church, and he has since been arrested and placed under home arrest for violating the country’s laws.
“Judge Yekaterina Shoponyak on Thursday found Sokolovsky guilty of inciting religious hatred and gave him a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence,” reports the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail also said:
She earlier said Sokolovsky’s behavior and his anti-religious videos manifested his ‘disrespect for society’ and that Sokolovsky ‘intended to offend religious sentiments.’
When the verdict was read out, the blogger’s mother rushed to her son to give him a hug.
The video blogger filmed himself zapping Pokemon in a Russian Orthodox church in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.
He uploaded the video to his YouTube channel, Sokolovsky!, in August 2016, where it has been viewed more than 1.9million times.
But the Russian Orthodox Church accused him of blasphemy after playing the game in a church built on the supposed spot where the family of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, was killed.
He pleaded not guilty in the case which has been compared to that of the Pussy Riot punk art group, whose 2012 ‘punk prayer’ in a Moscow cathedral led to two-year prison terms.
‘I didn’t aim to offend anyone,’ Sokolovsky said in court in a video broadcast by Life News, adding that he was ready to apologise if anyone was offended.
He said he created the videos ‘with critical and polemical aims’, describing himself as an atheist.
‘I didn’t ask these people to watch my video clips,’ he told journalists during a break.
‘Who is the Russian Orthodox Church that I have to publicly repent in front of them?’
Sokolovsky spent several months in prison ahead of the trial before being put under house arrest.