To the editor:
I am writing this letter in response to the article written by you in the Nov. 8 Alexandria Times, “Alfred Street Baptist rises above bomb threat.” As an Alexandria resident, I was heartbroken to hear that members in our community were being targeted while practicing their faith.
Alexandria is a diverse community where people all of races, religions, genders and ethnicities are welcomed. In recent current events, religious establishments have been targeted due to hate — some resulting in tragic losses. It is sickening that specific groups continue to be the focus of hate-related crimes, and we as a nation need to continue to make progress toward being a country of equality for all.
This is not just a problem in the United States: it is a problem around the world. After conducting further research, I found that religious hate crimes have risen 40 percent across England. If we want to enact change, then we must continue to spread awareness and have open dialogue surrounding the topic, which I believe you did a great job of addressing in your article.
I applaud the members of Alfred Street Baptist who, in this time of fear, supported each other and continued to put their faith first. I look forward to watching this congregation rise above the hate and to continue freely practicing their religion; a foundation on which this country was built. Thank you for sharing.
-Molly Overstreet, Alexandria