Earlier last month, on August 11th, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, at the Church of latter Day Saints, a young vlogger by the name of Ruslan Sokolovsky took video of himself playing Pokémon Go. This incident has led to his arrest and a possible sentencing of up to 5 years. Why do you ask? Because they believe it is sac-religious and incites hatred upon their beliefs and the church in general.
Just 4 years prior to this, two women from the band Pussy Riot were sentenced to 2 years in prison for the exact same charges. The difference between these cases is that 5 members from Pussy Riot formed a stage and put on a concert at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. This action began as a protest against Vladamir Putin (Which they believe to be a dictator in the likes of Stalin.) and the church officials that supported him. This eventually became a music video called “Punk Prayer – Virgin Mary (Mother of God), Chase Putin Away!” Due to this, Patriarch Kirill I, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, stated that “…they were doing the work of the devil.”
Now, any some what intelligent and logical person should easily be able to see the major differences in these cases. Which is this…
As seen in the video, Ruslan Sokolovsky, who was protesting the church and its decision to forbid playing Pokémon Go while in the temple (Which has a Gym at its location.), merely walked in, caught a few Pokémon and then left. The members of Pussy Riot actually staged a musical protest inside of a church, called out their countries leader for being bribed by the officials of so said church and others, while making an actual music video out of it.
This blows my mind. That Ruslan Sokolovsky, is looking at serving 3 years longer in prison, than the 2 members of Pussy Riot, all though, all he did was walk in, burn some incense (Not the churches mind you.) and walked out. The ladies of Pussy Riot can be seen mocking the church, while the nuns are trying to force the women out of the temple. Am I the only one who sees this as utterly insane and mind boggling?
As the human species, we have supposedly come to an age where reason/science and religion can be seen as one. In 1981, Pope John Paul II stated that “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” Also, as seen in “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, paragraph 159, it states… “Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth. Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”
So, what has happened since then, to cause them to believe that a young man must be sentenced for 5 years in prison for playing Pokémon Go? Is Pokémon and Pokémon Go, really sac-religious and inciting hatred upon the church? In my opinion, no it is not and must not be seen that way. It is what childhood dreams are made of. It is something that has brought communities together and has shown, that people of all races, age and belief, and opinion can be seen and acts as one. That shows that we can love and respect each other as we should and must, for the benefit of the human species. To me, this is an act of the Russian government and the church, which states otherwise. I believe, we must rally in support of Ruslan Sokolovsky and the let world know, that we will not stand for this nonsensical punishment and form of justice, no matter where it takes place. I’m not saying that he doesn’t deserve to penalized for his actions, but, a 5 year prison sentence? I find that to be quite harsh, even though he did break some rules that are being forced in his region of the world. And again, this is only my opinion and no one else’s.
And, as always… Go Team Mystic!