Ravi Zacharias, Influential Evangelist, Is Accused of Sexual Abuse in Scathing Report
By Ruth Graham
New York Times
February 11, 2021
An investigation found credible evidence of sexual misconduct spanning many years. Several massage therapists made accusations against Mr. Zacharias, who died last spring.
The influential evangelist Ravi Zacharias, who died last spring, engaged in “sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape,” according to a report released on Thursday by the global evangelical organization he founded.
After initially denying accounts of his misconduct, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries announced that an investigation had found credible evidence of sexual misconduct spanning many years and multiple continents.
The announcement was the result of an investigation by a Southeastern law firm, Miller & Martin, which RZIM hired in October to investigate accounts of sexual misconduct by Mr. Zacharias.
“We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had not previously made public allegations against Ravi but whose identities and stories were uncovered during the investigation,” the ministry’s board of directors said in a statement accompanying the report. “We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse.”
When Mr. Zacharias died of cancer in May at age 74, he was one of the most revered evangelists in the United States. Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at his memorial service in Atlanta, calling him “a man of faith who could rightly handle the word of truth like few others in our time” and comparing him to Billy Graham and C.S. Lewis.
Though the report adds shocking new details, accounts of Mr. Zacharias’s sexual misconduct had arisen in recent years. In 2017, he settled a lawsuit with a Canadian couple whom he had accused of attempting to extort him over intimate text messages he had exchanged with the wife.