RZIM suspends fundraising as it considers next steps after damning Ravi Zacharias report
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has halted fundraising efforts following the release of a report detailing the late apologist's extensive sexual misconduct.
A notice on the "Give" page on the RZIM website reads: "In light of recent revelations regarding our founder, we find it prudent to suspend all fundraising activities until a path forward can be envisioned that indicates care for all of Ravi's victims as well as the staff and supporters of RZIM."
The announcement came nearly a week after the release of the full report from Atlanta law firm Miller & Martin, which conducted an independent investigation into the late apologist's sexual misconduct with massage therapists at a spa he co-owned in Georgia. The investigation also detailed various predatory acts overseas in Southeast Asia.
Investigators also found that Zacharias had used ministry funds to pay his victims as a way of keeping them silent about the abuse and to manipulate them into doing whatever he asked them to do.
Concurrent with the investigative report's publication, the RZIM board of directors issued a repentant statement, apologizing for their handling of the situation, noting that they were taking steps to help those whom Zacharias had abused. The organization stated they had engaged a management firm, Guidepost Solutions, to evaluate the structures, culture, policies, processes, finances, and practices of the ministry.
"We are committed to change, and we believe we will benefit greatly from Guidepost's scrutiny. Additional information regarding Guidepost's work, including intermediate protective steps and corrective actions RZIM will be taking, and confidential channels for reporting, will be released as quickly as possible," the statement said.
"In light of the findings of the investigation and the ongoing evaluation, we are seeking the Lord's will regarding the future of this ministry. We are learning much through this time and hope to have the chance to apply these lessons in the future. We remain passionate about seeing the gospel preached through the questions of culture. We will be spending focused time praying and fasting as we discern how God is leading, and we will speak to this in the near future."
The late apologist's sexual misconduct involving massage therapists in the Georgia spas was first reported last year by San Francisco attorney Steve Baughman who told The Christian Post in an email last week that "[t]his is no longer about Ravi Zacharias but about the evangelical business world that enabled him to lead a double life for so many years."
Allegations of sexual misconduct against the apologist first emerged in 2017 when emails surfaced showing that Zacharias had sexted and groomed a Canadian woman, Lori Anne Thompson, along with evidence revealing that he had misrepresented his academic background and credentials.
Courtesy of The Christian Post