Late Apologist Ravi Zacharias Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has launched an investigation into recent claims that the late apologist Ravi Zacharias sexually harassed several women.
According to Christianity Today, Zacharias, who regularly received massage therapy to help manage pain caused by a 1985 spinal injury, was accused by three women who worked at a two-day spa he co-owned of inappropriately touching them, exposing himself to them, and masturbating in front of them during his treatment sessions between 2005-2010.
The women requested anonymity out of fear of retribution.
While it is unclear if Zacharias committed any of these acts, Zacharias’ former business partner reportedly issued an apology via text to one of the women.
According to Christianity Today, one woman claimed that Zacharias, insisting that he was burdened by his ministry, would regularly masturbate in front of her. She recalled him doing this at least 50 times.
Another woman claimed, “He would expose himself every time, and he would touch himself every time.”
She asserted that the private massage room “was where he went to get what he wanted sexually.”
One of the women also claimed that “He would touch my leg, which was kind of by his hand, but then he would run his hand up to the middle of my thighs and then to the private area.”
While another reportedly recalled him touching her lower back and sliding his hand down her pants or touching her on the side and sliding his hand up to her breast.
The women, who independently reported these incidences, are speaking out now so that other potential victims know that they are not alone.
One of the women said it wasn’t until news broke in 2017 that Zacharias had allegedly solicited explicit photos from a Canadian woman, that she considered speaking out against the famed Christian minister and author.
In 2017, Lori Anne Thompson accused the minister of soliciting explicit images from her. Zacharias denied the accusation and sued Thompson, reportedly claiming that she her husband were trying to extort him. According to Relevant Magazine, Zacharias admitted to having an online relationship with Thompson and noted that he did receive explicit photos from her, but insisted that they were unsolicited. Zacharias settled with Thompson in 2017. As part of the settlement, Thompson was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Since the minister's death in May, Thompson has been trying to get out of the NDA.
In a statement to Christianity Today, RZIM denied that the claims were true, insisting that the claims “do not in any way comport with the man we knew for decades.”
Nonetheless, the ministry has hired an independent law firm “with experience investigating such matters” to look into the allegations.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, in May, Zacharias succumbed to cancer in his sacrum at the age of 74.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Margie; three children, Sarah, Naomi and Nathan; and five grandchildren.
Photo courtesy: Ravi Zacharias Facebook Page
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.