(The AEGIS Alliance) – An influential evangelist leader and author, Ravi Zacharias, who died last year in the spring, engaged in “sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape,” a new report released by the worldwide Christian organization he founded reveals.
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries employed Atlanta-based regulation agency, Miller & Martin, to finish an impartial investigation into its leader after allegations of misconduct had been raised last fall.
Four female therapeutic massage therapists claimed that Zacharias “would either touch his genitals or ask them to touch his genitals” and another 5 mentioned he “touched or rubbed them inappropriately.”
One accuser also reported “many encounters over a period of years that she described as rape,” based on a 12-page report released on Thursday.
The ministry’s board, presently headed by Zacharias’ daughter, in an announcement obtained by the Washington Post, issued an apology to the victims, noting it was “shocked and grieved by Ravi’s actions.”
“Words cannot come close to expressing the sorrow that we feel for what you have been through or the gratitude we feel for the bravery with which you have responded,” the ministries board stated.
Miller & Martin mentioned it employed a non-public investigative agency with a workforce made up of former federal law enforcement officers. More than 50 individuals have been interviewed, together with over a dozen therapeutic massage therapists, within the probe, which additionally included an evaluation of 4 cellphones and a laptop computer used by Zacharias.
Investigators with a digital forensics agency found proof on the devices of “text- and email-based relationships with women who were not his wife,” along with more than 200 photographs of women, the report says. Also uncovered was greater than 200 different massage therapists listed on his phones, a lot of them in Asia.
According to the report, he would spend months at a time in a pair of apartments he owned in Bangkok, the place he “spent his days writing and his nights receiving massages” all through 2016.
Some accusers have additionally alleged the Christian leader used ministry funds to supply them monetary assistance as well as utilizing religious language throughout encounters as a type of manipulation.
The Miller & Martin report moreover outlines the case of Lori Anne Thompson, a Canadian woman who accused Zacharias of partaking in “sexually explicit online conversations” and exploiting “her vulnerability to satisfy his own sexual desires.”
In April 2017, Thompson and her husband demanded Zacharias give them “$5 million in exchange for a release of claims against him and the ministry.” Three months later, he sued the couple in a federal courtroom for extortion.
They ultimately settled the dispute confidentially in the fall of 2017, according to the report.
“We believe Lori Anne Thompson has told the truth about the nature of her relationship with Ravi Zacharias,” the board mentioned.
“It is with profound grief that we recognize that because we did not believe the Thompsons and both privately and publicly perpetuated a false narrative, they were slandered for years and their suffering was greatly prolonged and intensified.
This leaves us heartbroken and ashamed.”
Zacharias died in his Atlanta residence back in May of 2020 following a battle with sarcoma. Just a few months later, Christianity Today published an article that cited three women who accused him of sexually harassing them at a pair of spas he co-owned.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.