Following an investigation confirming Ravi Zacharias' sexual misconduct allegations, the Christian and Ministry Alliance (CMA) posthumously expelled the late apologist from the missionary movement, resulting to his ordination's revocation.
In a statement dated Feb. 12, the CMA said that the findings of the investigation it has conducted, as well as Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, revealed that Zacharias did engage in sexual misconduct and created schemes to hide his sinful activities. The evidence confirmed that the accusations of Lori Anne Thompson and the massage therapists are true and that his behavior pattern was "longstanding".
The statement also disclosed that the movement already conducted an internal inquiry in 2018 for an initial allegation, to gauge if the evidence was enough to make a formal investigation under its discipline guidelines. Hindered by a nondisclosure agreement, it failed to proceed given the insufficiency of evidence. But the latest investigation showed that the information regarding the predatory behavior of Zacharias was "proven more than sufficient."
The result of the investigation immensely saddened the movement, expressing its deep grief over the pain suffered by Zacharias' victims.
"We are deeply grieved over the pain suffered by Lori Anne Thompson, the massage therapists, and others who may have been victimized by Mr. Zacharias' behavior, and support appropriate advocacy efforts on their behalf. Mr. Zacharias' actions were in direct violation of his obligation to demonstrate his commitment to serve Christ and His people through his devotion, character, lifestyle, and values," the statement said.
Thus, the CMA announced that it is posthumously expelling the late apologist from the movement and revoked his ordination.
"In recognition of this gross violation and its painful consequences to the victims and others who were impacted, the C&MA posthumously expels Mr. Zacharias from licensed ministry in our denomination. This comes with the automatic revocation of his ordination," the statement concluded.
The CMA Canada also released a statement stating its dismay over Zacharias's "extensive abusive behavior," as well as its sorrow over his victims.
The movement's Canada branch has licensed Zacharias in 1972 to 1974 but the late apologist transferred his credentials to United States afterwards.
Speaking to Christianity Today (CT), CMA Vice President Terry Smith said that they regret what Zacharias did but that the movement is not responsible for his actions.
"If 'responsible' means we caused it or put circumstances in place where he was enabled to do that, no, I do not believe we were responsible. Certainly we bear some level of responsibility for all of our official workers, but no more for Ravi Zacharias than any of those other official workers. We certainly regret what he did," he said.
CT then discovered that Zacharias was not a member of a local church and Smith himself did not know about the church membership of the late apologist.
"We do want people to go to church. We want everyone to go to church. He should have been attending church. I don't know if he was or not, but he should have been," Smith stated.
Zacharias' scandal has led CMA to amend its policy wherein its evangelists will now be licensed locally, instead of national level. The movement will also review its response on the allegations between workers and its organizational culture through Sensitive Issues Consultative Group.