People play Pokemon Go at the Parc de la Villette where some rare creatures from the game are known to appear in Paris, France./EPA
By Julie M Aurelio
MANILA - Several places of worship in the country have been made ‘Pokestops,’ luring Pokemon Go gamers to play instead of praying.
Avid Pokemon Go players in churches should better come to church to pray, not to get hooked on the addictive game.
A Catholic priest in Tacloban City reminded Pokemon Go fanatics not to forget their faith even as they try to advance their status in the popular game.
Noting that Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban has two Pokestops that draw young people to it, Fr. Ronel Taboso issued a word of caution to players.
“They should use their time and energy productively and not waste their precious time. They should go to church for the right reasons,” he said.
In a statement posted on the news website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the parish priest noted that Pokemon Go players were lining up outside the iconic church.
Pokestops are places that allow players to collect items, such as eggs and more Pokeballs in order capture more Pokemon.
Taboso said that while he wanted players frequenting the church not to forget their faith, they were not banned from entering the place of worship.
“No, we do not shoo them, since they are already outside the church,” he said.
A junior lector at the parish, Greeneth May Torres, posted on her Facebook account that many players were lining up outside Sto. Niño Church, warning that the place of worship is not a playground.
According to the CBCP website, Pokemon Go fans staged a “lure party” near the church to attract more Pokemon on
Aug. 10, with the location doubling as a Pokemon gym where trainers engage their Pokemon in battles.
Other Pokemon stops have been established in churches in other places apart from Tacloban, attracting young people to the places of worship not to pray but to play the addictive game.