The 22 year old was arrested for playing Pokémon GO in church, considered to be ‘offending religious sensibilities’.
The Russian vlogger is well known in his area for having a YouTube series. Now, facing up to 5 years behind bars and serving at least two months for ‘inciting hatred’ from playing his Pokémon GO within the Cathedral.
Vocativ stated that Ruslan Sokolovsky’s ‘crime’ has a sentencing up to five years if convicted with ‘offending religious sensibilities”.
The vlogger posted a video in August playing Pokémon GO in the church, making a protest about a state-issued broadcast that warned all Pokémon trainers would face jail time if caught catching Pokémon in places of worship, under the anti-blasphemy laws.
The offending video shows Sokolovsky tossing Pokeballs to catch a Zubat and Poliwag inside the Yekateringburg’s Church of All Saints. It’s unknown if there is a PokeStop at the church or not.
According to Meduza, a Russian news site the authorities started to investigate Sokolovsky shortly after the video was posted.
A spokesperson for the church stated the video was provocative in nature, which is what led to Sokolovsky’s arrest and not the actual playing of the game.
However, Jaroslav Nilov, Head of the State Duma’s religious affair committee stated they have not yet proved that Sokolovsky has broken Russia’s anti-blasphemy laws.
Note: Video is in Russian, but has English subtitles.