RZIM Branch in UK Calls on U.S. Board to “Reform Radically”

By Julie Roys

The board of  Zacharias Trust—the U.K. branch of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)—is calling on RZIM’s U.S. board to “reform radically the governance, leadership and accountability of the RZIM organization globally.” The U.K. Board also says the alleged victims of RZIM founder, Ravi Zacharias, deserve a “profound apology.”

In a portion of a letter to the U.S. Board, which the U.K. Board posted to the Zacharias Trust website, the U.K. Board stated that the global ministry of RZIM “has been damaged” by “the historic and current issues which have been raised in recent weeks.”

These include allegations by RZIM speakers and managers that the U.S. board “betrayed” and “misled” its employees and the public by covering up the wrongdoing of Ravi Zacharias.

In 2017, Zacharias was accused of misrepresenting his credentials and sexually exploiting a Canadian woman as part of a sexting relationship. More recently, Zacharias has been accused of sexually abusing massage therapists at two spas he co-owned.

For years, the RZIM board has maintained that Zacharias was a victim in the sexting relationship, not a predator. As recently as September, RZIM stated, that Zacharias “denied any sexually or romantically inappropriate conduct” and “his denial is consistent with the character of the man we knew and worked alongside for years.”

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Similarly, when the spa allegations first surfaced, RZIM responded by calling the accusations false. The organization later changed its statement and launched an independent investigation into the spa allegations. That investigation recently released a preliminary report, which found “credible evidence” that Zacharias “engaged in sexual misconduct over many years.”

In its statement, the U.K. Board said it recognized that Zacharias’ “alleged victims have not been listened to or treated with compassion in the past.”

The U.K. Board also acknowledged that the situation has been difficult for staff and “some are concerned that their credibility is being affected and their own reputations are being damaged by events that are outside their control.” The board added it must “act swiftly to rebuild trust” with staff, partner churches, and supporters.

The U.K. Board then stated that “as a matter of urgency,” it is seeking a meeting with the U.S. Board “to confirm our mutual commitment” to the items listed below:

  • A profound apology to any victims and a commitment to engaging and listening to them to reach a point of reconciliation.

  • Ensuring Zacharias Trust in the UK inputs into the public announcement that will be made when the investigation report is issued.

  • A commitment to reform radically the governance, leadership and accountability of the RZIM organisation globally and to recognise the need to transform our culture by reconnecting to the Gospel values that underpin our organisation. We anticipate that there will be significant change across the global organisation.

  • A prayerful and consultative reflection on how the ministry should move forward from this point, and if so, what changes are required. That consultation will include all staff, key partners and supporters.

The UK Board added that conversations between the U.K Board and the U.S. Board have already started and that some of the reforms should be implemented before the findings of the independent investigation are made public. This “means coming to an agreement in the next few weeks.”

Below is the extract from a letter sent on December 23, 2020, by the U.K. Board to the U.S. Board:

Zacharias Trust Extract of Letter to US Board
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16 thoughts on “RZIM Branch in UK Calls on U.S. Board to “Reform Radically””

  1. “mistakes have been made” — The Zacharias Trust.

    I knew that one would make an appearance sooner or later.
    .
    .
    ‘mistakes’….. like, ‘oops i didn’t mean to do that’….. right.

    premeditated and planned with deliberate action are not mistakes. you don’t lie, deceive, mislead, let alone abuse, destroy people’s lives, & pay lots of money to cover it all up by mistake.

  2. The train is picking up more speed as it goes downhill towards its inevitable crash. The faster it goes the more people who are associated start complaining and preparing to jump out before the total crash and the end occurs. The corrupt board will likely just stay in place proclaiming their innocence of serious crimes until RZIM is no more or just a small cult left of people who refuse to see how easy it is for others to deceive them. This is the way these things always end. God opposes the proud and is busy working tearing down their false images broadcast to make what, at its core, has always been evil look like a whitewashed tomb on the outside.

  3. If the Zacharias family bows out completely, no strings attached, I’ll believe they are sincere in wishing to change the perception that RZIM is a family business which, of necessity, became a juggernaut for Mr. Zacharias’s self-proclaimed moral integrity. That the board’s first response to the allegations against Zacharias was to characterize the women in question as liars was heartless.

  4. I have opined in the past and I’ll do it again: give the victim(s) money (who doesn’t need it?), give her an apology, shut down ALL ministries associated with RZIM……globally….including the UK’s, and everyone go find a job. Julie Roy’s will continue to find lots of women flocking to the wells of the church.

    Uwe,
    Post Tenebras Lux

    1. UWE, please explain your comments. I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say. It sounds like sarcasm, but I really can’t tell. Could you be more plain? Thank you

      1. Sams: keep it simple, stupid. RZIM Ministries is one many ministries that exist around the world. Ravi, if the allegations are correct, messed up big time. The person(s) that have made the accusation(s) need not only an apology but also some compensatory payments for any hurts that may have been caused. The 7 letters in the Book of Revelation were sent to churches that existed in the first century. They no longer exist. But the Messiah stated the gates of hades will not prevail against it. That is why the church continues to exist to this day until the risen Messiah says so. Shut down the ministry, and let all those people find/join another ministry. That way Ravi’s legacy will go away and the people that are demanding accountability will get their pound of flesh. I’ve contributed to RZIM for several years and this year is the last one. Period. I support several ministries financially and prayerfully. There are plenty of ministries around the world that Yeshua will use to accomplish His purpose. Since we huma ns are such a mess, right after Adam and Eve failed, the human race will continue to stumble until the chosen ones (Doctrine of Election) are glorified as He has promised. Thus, Julie will have plenty of ministries to hold accountable (a good thing) for a long time to come. Sarcastic? Perhaps…..but Paul was very sarcastic…..and I’m not claiming and never will claim apostolic authority. Your question has been answered, with plenty to think about. Any misspellings may have done on purpose for those that love to pick imperfections.
        Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai!!!
        Uwe
        Post Tenebras Lux

        1. Technically you are incorrect about the 7 churches. There were five that were warned that they would be removed, and two that God had nothing evil to say about. Those first five churches not only do not exist anymore, but also the towns that they were in do not either. They are nothing but ancient ruins at this point. The other two churches have existed in the Eastern Orthodox sect continuously even though they are now in what is left of the Turkish Ottoman Islamic Empire. Not only have these churches been blessed over all these centuries, but so have the towns they are inside of. Both of these have prospered greatly and are much larger than they were when John originally wrote about the 7 churches. All of this info can readily be found on any Internet search engine.

          This is important for today for the modern Western Churches are most often compared with the Church of Laodicea. That church failed to repent and so God has cursed it and the town that it was in. The same warning speaks to today as big orgs. like RZIM fail to repent even though they have, at their core, been evil since their very early days. To be like Laodicea is not a good thing.

    2. Curious Counselor

      What’s truly disconcerting is these remarks from the recent interim investigative report:

      “Some of that misconduct is consistent with and corroborative of that which is reported in the news recently. And some of the conduct we have uncovered is more serious.

      The firm reported reviewing “numerous documents and electronic devices used by Mr Zacharias over the years.”

  5. He was having an inappropriate behavior for over five year’s , some of them if you hear are disgusting, while having those behavior he was still preaching, what’s the value of ( go and sin no more ) then , in case of Ravi turns out to be ( go and sin some more ) , it’s not that I’m judging him, but if we don’t keep high standards for a man of God, then we are giving bad signals to other apologist, please think

  6. “it’s not that I’m judging him”

    we all make judgements, every day, by what we observe.

    that doesn’t seem right.
    that looks shady.
    that’s manipulative.
    that wasn’t forthright.
    that is hypocritical.

    It’s how we protect ourselves, our loved ones, our communities from being taken advantage of, from being abused, ransacked.

    we have to be able to state plainly, “This is wrong. You lied. You were dishonest. You betrayed our trust.”

    it’s either that or be an amoral jellyfish.

    and watch the self-interested abusers plow through and destroy because christians passively sit back and let it happen.

    i observe my fellow christians would rather play it safe, being careful not to cross any potential sin lines, so they look good to God, than speak out and confront their christian fellows with their egregious wrongdoing.

    my fellow christians prefer to look out for themselves and passively let others be destroyed.

    1. Curious Counselor

      Scottie- it seems a bit broad to say my “fellow Christians” rather than saying, Ravi’s Board aka family members.

      When the Lori Anne situation came out around 2017, there was a Christian woman and then a few others, who tried bringing this to the world through social media.

      Asian countries have a strong honor/shame culture which likely compounded the difficulty of the RZ Board being more honest about Ravi’s serious problems.

      Someone needed to work with him to get help for being sexually predatory first with Lori Anne and with the massage therapist employees of his very own Spas. What must those massage therapists think of the Christian God.

      In another post, one brother encouraged us to keep accountability with other close believers, lest we fall, too.

      Praying for the RZ Board and their important collaborations with the RZ Boards in UK, Canada and around the World.

      1. Yes, I’m speaking broadly. Of course there are exceptions. but in my observation not very many.

        The scope of devastation & corruption surrounding Ravi Zacharias and RZIM didn’t happen in a vaccum. As I see it, it is logically in direct proportion to what evangelicals have allowed, tolerated, thus enabled.

        Evangelical culture happily let it happen. Christians shape their culture and they let it happen. Just as they do with so many other leaders who compromise on integrity, abuse, and enable abuse.

        They give billions of dollars without scrutiny, without insisting on transparency and integrity. They go the next step & villify those who speak out against their heroes, even the shady scoundrels.

  7. “Again when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live, because they took warning and you will have saved yourself” (Ezekiel 3,20-21)

    The ongoing enquiry into Ravi is not yet complete, but the interim statement by the RZIM board indicates the serious content of the accusations against Ravi Zacharias. This is a terrible terrible sadness. A friend of mine from Uganda shared with me his devastation about the allegations. All the typical ingredients seem to be present in this all too typical example of satanic invasion -a charismatic leader, who founds his own organization in his own name and admiring colleagues, who are frightened to criticize that leader or put in place robust systems of accountability and transparency.

    The last few years have thrown up a plethora of cases where Christian leaders have held an iconic status, which subsequently has been found (often after their deaths) to be false. I love acts 19, verses 30-31, Paul -yes, the great St. Paul, was about to be stupid. His presence in Ephesus had resulted in numbers of people coming to Christ, but it also resulted in urban turbulence and considerable civil disturbance, and so, in those verses we read, “Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theatre”. Because of that constraint, Paul could continue his ministry in Macedonia and Greece. Thank God that those around Paul prevailed.

    It is strange that the American board of RZIM did not question Ravi’s ownership of two health spas. Had they prevailed, as did the friends of Paul, Ravi might have been saved from his own stupidity. In the meantime we must pray not only for any victims in this whole wretched saga, but for all those who have invested a large part of their lives and Christian apologetic on belonging to RZIM.

  8. Did the Executive Committee of RZIM (US branch) issue their statement on the interim report first, or did The Zacharias Trust (UK branch) send their letter first? Since the UK is 6 or more hours ahead of the US, probably the letter came out before the statement. Would RZIM have released any statement at all about the interim report without it? Will, or even can, the other branches of this global organization force reform on the US branch? Or will the whole thing splinter apart? Hmm, we live in interesting times.

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