An LGBT education co-ordinator at the AIDS Coalition of Cape Breton, Canada is among several people who have received anonymous, religious letters urging them to “admit” that they are sinners.
Madonna Doucette told CTV news she considers the religious pamphlet as hate mail, as it targets not her name, but her job title specifically.
She said: “The letter talks about how I need to go to Jesus and admit I’m a sinner. It’s pretty heavy-duty stuff.”
Ms Doucette said she was “shocked” to receive the letter among only a small number of recipients.
She added: “Because I’m one out of only a handful of people that got it, and because of my position that it was addressed to, I can’t help but wonder if it was a little bit more targeted.”
The letter does not specifically mention homosexuality, and other recipients have said they are not from the LGBT community, but it does make continuous mention of an unspecified “sin” throughout.
It reads: “If you were to die this night you will go to Hell because you have sinned and the punishment of sin is death.”
The letter is not signed and there is no return address.
Ms Doucette added: “I felt hurt, that’s how I felt. I read through the letter and at the end of the letter I saw a list of five or six websites, including a local church that I thought was better than this.”
The list includes Cape Breton Christian Fellowship Church, a nondenominational group in Sydney.
However, its pastor told CTV news the letter had nothing to do with his church, which he called an “uplifting, inclusive” environment that would never endorse such a message.
Kevin Mattatall added: “We’re hoping that whoever it is that’s doing this would just stop. It’s not something we feel is of our opinion or our view.”
The other four organisations are also nowhere to be found in the Maritimes, which raises questions about whether the letter originated from elsewhere.
Mr Mattatall said he told his church members that if any of them had anything to do with the letters, he wanted them to stop.
Church leader Rod Bower, a long time supporter of equal marriage, said: ”This has gone international now — there are people liking it all over the world and it is just a little sign in Gosford,
“The conservative view is not the only view. … Marriage equality is a hot issue at the moment and it seems the church is struggling to get over this issue. I am reflecting on what the spirit of God might be saying in a modern world.”