'Tough questions' for 'charisma cult' after Ravi Zacharias scandal

Ravi Zacharias died in May 2020 from cancer before the publication of the Miller and Martin report(Passion Conference/Phil Sanders)

Theologian Dr Dave Benson says reparations must be made to the victims of Ravi Zacharias. 

As the global Christian community continues to come to terms with the late apologist's sexual misconduct, Dr Benson said that care and justice for survivors needed to be the "first priority". 

Dr Benson, Director of Culture and Discipleship at the LICC, said: "We must face tough questions on the charisma cult, wilful blindness to narcissistic leadership, lack of accountability, and defensive posturing making people deaf to those who spoke truth."

He called Zacharias a "ferocious wolf in sheep's clothing" who showed "no evidence of deep repetance" or "rethinking his way". 

"Courageous women calling out horrors should have been heard. Sin must be exposed," he said.

"Concern for reputational damage, while effectively sheltering a predator and silencing victims, is evil.

"It's diametrically opposed to what we preach, and rightly condemned. God detests these crimes, and acts swiftly when the oppressed cry. So must we." 

An independent report by Miller and Martin uncovered evidence of text and email-based relationships with women who were not Zacharias' wife, as well as over 200 selfie-style photographs of women on his electronic devices.

The report also contained witness statements from numerous massage therapists who described inappropriate requests and touching, as well as one allegation of rape.

The evidence corroborated the allegations of Canadian woman Lori Anne Thompson who claimed Zacharias had initiated an online relationship with her and solicited nude photos. At the time, Zacharias accused her of trying to blackmail him. 

RZIM has promised change at the global organization and survivor care in the wake of the findings.