Saudi Arabia‘s top clerical body has banned Pokemon Go saying it is too similar to gambling and that characters are based on Darwin’s evolution theory.

It also said the game carried symbols of ‘deviant’ religions and organisations, such as ‘international Zionism’ and Israel, Christian crosses, Freemasonry, and symbols from Japan’s native Shinto religion.

Despite Pokemon Go not yet being officially available in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, many have downloaded it illegally and have joined the global frenzy of hunting for virtual pocket monsters.

The kingdom’s Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta said in its latest announcement on its website that it has republished a 2001 edict on the game after ‘receiving many questions’ on it from the public.

The 15-year-old fatwa said the game was too much like gambling and that the concept of its characters appeared to be based on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is rejected by Islam.

It also said most cards on the game carried symbols of ‘deviant’ religions and organisations, such as ‘international Zionism’ and Israel, Christian crosses, Freemasonry, and symbols from Japan’s native Shinto religion.

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