RZIM President apologises for trusting 'deceptive narratives' during Ravi Zacharias abuse scandal

(Photo: RZIM)

The president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has apologised for being too trusting when allegations of abuse by the ministry's founder surfaced.

In a video, Michael Ramsden said that although victims had decided to remain anonymous, they were "real people with real names", and "real damage has been inflicted both on you and your families".

"I recognize with great sorrow that for many of you silence was not a choice. I completely trusted various deceptive narratives and accounts. And I was wrong," he said.

"I realized that in passing on those false accounts to others, and in speaking in (Zacharias') defence, I have greatly multiplied the pain, the hurt and the damage that's been felt and experienced by many." 

In particular, Ramsden apologised to Lori Anne Thompson, who first reported abusive behaviour in 2017, for failing to listen to her when she spoke up.

"In doing this, I failed not only her, but also her husband Brad, her family, and those who spoke up for her," he said.

Elsewhere in the video, Ramsden said he had "failed to consider the effects of my admiration" for Zacharias, and "the approval I sought from him". 

"I was convinced that Ravi Zacharias was trustworthy when it came to the issues of his sexual conduct and behaviour," Ramsden said.

"As a matter of fact, I believed him to be very naive when it came to these areas. I now realize that I was the one who was being naive."

He added, "I allowed the good that I saw in him publicly and privately, when we were together, to dictate my conclusions as to whether he was innocent or guilty."