Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has ended its fundraising efforts after a report detailing the late apologist's extensive sexual misconduct has been exposed.
A notice 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 in-depth full report from Atlanta law firm Miller & Martin, independent investigators hired by RZIM. The law firm conducted an investigation on the sexual misconduct made by RZIM's founder, Ravi Zacharias, to over a dozen massage therapists at a spa he co-owned in Georgia. The investigation also detailed various predatory acts in Southeast Asia.
One massage therapist said that the evangelist would often try for "more than a massage," while four massage therapists said Zacharias pleasured himself or asked them to do other things aside from massages. In addition, five said he "touched" them "inappropriately."
The report also stated that one of the witnesses they have interviewed claimed to have been made to engage in what she called "rape." The witness chose to stay anonymous to protect her identity.
Per the report, Zacharias established himself as a "father figure" to this victim after she talked about her faith and finances. He then arranged for his ministry to provide her with financial support.
The report indicated that Zacharias then demanded sex and "warned her not ever to speak out against him or she would be responsible for the 'millions of souls' whose salvation would be lost if his reputation was damaged," The Christian Post wrote.
This reveals how the late minister would use his ministry funds to pay his victims into staying silent about his abusive behaviors and as a way of manipulating them.
"Tragically, witnesses described encounters including sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape. We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse." the board of RZIM wrote.
The RZIM board of directors also issued a statement, apologizing for the mishandling of the situation, noting that they are currently taking steps to help those victimized by their founder.
"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 statement added.
Zacharias' sexual misconduct was first reported by San Francisco attorney Steve Baughman who emailed The Christian Post last week saying, "[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."
The allegations of sexual misconduct against the late apologist, however, first emerged in 2017 when emails surfaced showing Zacharias exchanging sexual messages with a Canadian woman named Lori Anne Thompson, along with evidences revealing that he had misrepresented his academic background and credentials.
Various ministers and ministerial groups, including the Christian and Missionary Alliance, said Zacharias' "sinful behavior" caused "enormous pain" and left a bad testimony to the Church of Christ.
Apologist Jim Denison said the late minister's life should serve as a lesson to everyone.
"If this could happen to Ravi Zacharias, it can happen to any of us. If you are living in unrepented sin, you are climbing a ladder that will collapse under you when Satan chooses. Get off it now," he said.