Blogger arrested for playing Pokémon Go in a church

Blogger arrested for playing Pokémon Go in a church September 4, 2016

Ruslan Sokovsky, above, a young Russian blogger from Yekaterinburg, has been arrested for playing Pokémon Go in a church, then posting a video of his ‘crime’.
Sokovsky, according to this report, was acting in defiance of an earlier warning broadcast by a Russian state news programme against catching Pokémon on the state border or in places of worship.
He was arrested on September 3 after the authorities got wind of the fact that he has played the game in the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land, a local Orthodox church built to commemorate the murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
Police considered this to be a violation of the Russian law against mockery of religious beliefs.
In the video Sokolovsky asked before heading to the building:

Who can be offended by the fact that you’re walking around a church with a smartphone?

A handcuffed Sokolovsky is led to court
A handcuffed Sokolovsky is led to court
A week after his caper, Valery Gorelykh, a spokesperson for the regional police department, said that the video would be checked for violations of law. He also expressed his personal opinion, saying that such “pokemonists” should be jailed for a minimum of five years so that others would be discouraged from committing blasphemy.
The Moscow Times adds that in early 2016, Sokolovsky launched an atheist magazine, writing:

We have been inspired by Charlie Hebdo and have decided that there are also too few such publications in Russia … 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.

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  • Broga

    The reward of courage and the defence of free speech is arrest. But religion has to stifle freedom of action or it would disintegrate.

  • Vanity Unfair

    This will probably reveal my almost total ignorance of Pokemon Go but I readily admit it anyway.
    Putting game targets on other people’s property is just bad manners.
    Searching for the targets in an inconsiderate way is just bad manners.
    That said, the threatened punishments for a breach of etiquette is deplorably severe.

  • L.Long

    Blasphemy!! The crime that proves their ahole gawd is powerless and impotent!!! Good going religidiots!!!!

  • Wikipedia: “According to Article 148 of Russian Criminal Code 1 it is declared a federal crime to conduct ‘public actions, clearly defying the society and committed with express purpose of insulting religious beliefs.'”
    Another nation I cannot visit because of what I have written at The Freethinker.
    I know of no instance where a nation looks back at its history and says ‘thank goodness we prosecuted those people for blasphemy.’ It is always a shameful part of a nation’s past. Such a simple lesson to learn: stop doing this shameful thing and the shame stops too.

  • Laura Roberts

    Clearly someone needs to create a Christianity Go. Then sit back and watch church authorities fight over whether it’s blasphemous or not.

  • Newspaniard

    I agree with the arrest of this trouble maker. What will happen next? Someone might publicise the fact that their president is an apologist for Stalin, is the head of the Russian Mafia and the richest man in the world having been brought up in poverty. Good grief, at the next elections, (if they are allowed to happen) the Russian people might vote for an honest man who wants to give them a taste of Western freedom. Of course, he will not be allowed to live, but that’s another story.

  • 1859

    ‘Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land’- Barry is this a joke? Have I missed something? If you’re really pulling the wool then the depth of your irony leaves me in awe and ignorance!

  • Neil

    Aren’t there some really shitty countries in the world … actually there are rather a lot of them.
    Russia, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, North Korea … and on and on and on. What are the common factors??? Anyone know???
    And there are forces, religiopolitical ones, that intend to render decent enlightened democracies into primitive theocratic dictatorial beggary.

  • Broga

    @Neil: I agree but the underlying problem is that the human species is the most destructive pest on the planet. We poison the air, pollute the seas, slaughter and exterminate. I read that another species of ape is now on the verge of extinction as are certain wild elephants. The whales, and so many other scarce animals, are still slaughtered.
    Of course, we are the beloved of God who presumably rules this fucked up world. Meanwhile 100,000 gullible, fawning fools gather so that the Pope, (insisting on encouraging the breeding of the destructive pest) makes that hypocritical disgrace to humanity, Mother Theresa, a saint. And Donald Trump has a chance to become President of the U.S.A.
    What chance have any of us got?

  • Religion: The lowest form of human mental endeavour at creating a social conformity and understanding of ones environment.
    Their circularly entangled irrationality continuously spins as they throw darts of interpretation, as required, to suite their whimsical need!
    Ah….I just love using these canned statements. They always fit no matter what the religidiots come up with next!

  • barriejohn

    Religion: The lowest form of human mental endeavour at creating a social conformity and understanding of ones environment.
    That’s rather a good one, actually!
    We have it easy compared to many in the world today. It’s like The Country of the Blind for them, isn’t it? They must feel as if they are the only sane ones in a mad world.

  • 1859

    @barriejohn: Are they the only sane ones in what they think is our mad, mad world, or are we the only sane ones in what we think is their mad, mad world? I know they are insane. They know that I’m insane. So who is sane? Who is insane?
    It all comes down, I guess, in how exactly you define sanity and insanity- and there runs a contentious animal.