Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) Canada announced today that it is “winding down operations” because “it is not possible” to continue the apologetics ministry “in the current environment.”
According to a statement released both on its website and email lists, the most recent revelations about Ravi Zacharias’s sexual abuse have made it impossible for the group to continue apologetics-based evangelism.
The full statement reads:
A Statement from the Board of RZIM Canada
The final report from Miller & Martin PLLC on the late Ravi Zacharias has been released by the Board of RZIM US, to whom he was accountable. The findings of his sexual misconduct fill us with desolation and grief.
We grieve for all the victims. No words are adequate or even appropriate, yet we must somehow find words. Their stories must be heard and heeded. We pray for healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
RZIM Canada has always been a wholly independent and self-sustaining charitable organization. We view our donors’ support as a sacred trust given “as unto the Lord.” In the spirit of integrity, we committed last month not to accept donations while seeking God’s direction for this ministry.
We recognize the ongoing need for an apologetics-based approach to evangelism. Regrettably, we are of the conviction that it is not possible for RZIM Canada to fulfill this mandate within the current environment. Therefore, it is with heaviness of heart and after much prayerful consideration that we are compelled to begin winding down the operations of RZIM Canada.
Our hearts go out to the countless people around the world who responded to Ravi’s apologetic ministry and who are now at risk of rejecting the message on account of the messenger. We take hope that Truth prevails even in a fallen world.
We ask that you continue to join us in fervent prayer.
The Board of RZIM Canada
On Feb. 11, RZIM released a months-long investigation, revealing that Zacharias reportedly raped one female massage therapist, sexually molested other massage therapists, paid for massages with donor funds, and had pictures of over 200 women on his phone. Investigators said the report proved Lori Anne Thompson’s allegations that Zacharias abused and manipulated her into a sexual relationship.
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The report interviewed over 50 people, but it didn’t examine every suspicious area, investigators said. In the interest of releasing information quickly, it never investigated what Zacharias did while overseas.
RZIM Canada closed their donation page on Feb. 1 and canceled all giving options for a three-month period. The group’s event page still has events planned consistently up to November.
“RZIM Canada is proceeding with a time of lament, reflection and prayer to seek God’s wisdom and guidance,” the closed donation page reads. “We would ask that you join us in prayer to seek God’s wisdom and discernment for the future of this ministry in Canada. We will provide an update on our plans and direction by the end of March.”
Jackson Elliott is a Christian journalist trained at Northwestern University. He has worked at The Daily Signal, The Inlander, and The Christian Post, covering topics ranging from D.C. politics to prison ministry. His interests include the Bible, philosophy, theology, Russian literature, and Irish music.