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Pokemon Go Poses a Threat to the Value of Human Identity, Says the Russian Orthodox Church

Along with all other computer games, Pokemon Go can be potentially addictive and threaten an individual’s freedom announced the Russian Orthodox Church’s spokesperson.

The spokesperson identified what he called “the threat of a person transforming from a free being to a personage from a video game.” The spokesperson highlighted that the problem isn’t Pokemon Go itself but the way players relate to video games and begin to live by their fictional laws rather than by laws dictated by religious and moral tradition.

The announcement came a day after a young man in St. Petersburg was rewarded with a bottle of kosher wine after catching a pokemon in a synagogue.

In a similar announcement, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roscomnadzor) issued a warning of the potential dangers of Pokemon Go. In a Facebook post, Roscomnadzor cautioned that as the game is still not legally available through the Russian Apple App store, gamers may be downloading it illegally along with potential viruses.

The Moscow Times reported a Russian senator’s comments on the game: “It feels like the devil arrived through [Pokemon] and is trying to tear our morality apart from the inside.” Patriotic organization including a Cossack group in St. Petersburg called for a ban on the game and the Kremlin-controlled TV channel Rossiya 24 aired a segment about the game that detailed how Russian gamers could be breaking the law by playing the game.

Read more on this story (in Russian) from Izvestia.