A popular Russian blogger has been detained for playing Pokémon Go inside a church and charged with "inciting hatred" and "offending religious sensibilities." Ruslan Sokolovsky is currently being held for 2 months after sharing a video on YouTube that showed him playing Pokémon Go at a Yekaterinburg church, Vocativ reports.
An investigative committee in Russia announced Sokolovsky's detainment over the weekend, with the church-based Pokémon Go session reportedly having taken place last month. The video was uploaded in protest of a previous news segment in the region in which players of the wildly popular augmented reality game were strongly advised against playing in places of worship due to the possibility of arrest. Sokolovsky now faces up to 5 years in jail.
Earlier this year, Sokolovsky launched what the Moscow Times called a "self-titled atheist magazine" inspired by Charlie Hebdo. "We have been inspired by Charlie Hebdo and have decided that there are also too few such publications in Russia that take an absolutely amoral approach to ridiculing the contemporary national reality," Sokolovsky said when launching the publication. "Using the written word to take on the censorship piling on from all sides and what's practically a police state now isn't a new idea, but it's just as relevant today as ever."
The blockbuster game has been a frequent source of headlines since launching to immediate success in July. Just last month, a distracted motorist struck 2 pedestrians in Tokushima and admitted to police he had been playing Pokémon Go at the time of the incident. One woman was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, while the other suffered serious injuries but survived. "I was playing Pokémon Go while driving, so I didn't really see what was in front of me," 39-year-old Keiji Goh told authorities, according to Kotaku.