Massive Pokémon gym battle with 'sodomite' Clefairy and Jigglypuff at Westboro Baptist Church

A player captures a Ponyta Pokémon playing Pokémon in Times Square, New York City.Reuters

Pokémon are famous for doing battle in gyms, caves, on mountains, lakes and oceans. But the creators of the hit new game Pokémon Go can't have envisioned they'd be doing battle with the notorious anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church.

The new augmented reality game, available via iPhone and Android devices in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, features gyms, pokémarts and the little virtual monsters themselves in public spaces.

These have turned out often to be churches as well as court rooms, police stations, the White House lawn and even a private house that was once a church.

Players of the game have been trolling one such gym, at the notorious anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. And the church has been happily trolling back.

Players can send their Pokémon to fight rivals and "capture" a gym.

Soon after the release of the new game, the gym at Westboro was captured by a Clefairy Pokémon named LoveisLove by its trainer:

Westboro Baptist Church has hit back by recruiting Jigglypuff to the anti-gay cause and arming it with a "Pokémon Go and Sin No More" slogan, banners, cards and even a catchy song of its own:

Accusing Clefairy of being a "sodomite", the church has declared it is "happy to help" as the game roll-out has sent Nintendo stocks soaring by $9 billion to date:

The game is expected to be rolled out into the UK in the next few days, although some people are already playing it by changing the settings on their device to the United States.

Pokémon await capture outside the Barn Church, Kew Gardens, LondonRuth Gledhill