Sarah Davis, CEO of RZIM, the apologetics ministry founded by Ravi Zacharias, has apologised for not initially believing the sexual abuse victims of her late father saying she made "serious errors that only furthered deep wounds."
Speaking in a video message shared on RZIM's Facebook page, Davis spoke about her involvement in her father's ministry saying at the outset it wasn't something she intended to become part of despite her "deep admiration and love for my father." Although a Christian since childhood, around 10 years ago she said she came to believe that "God loved me" and she felt a calling to lead the ministry.
Speaking about her role within RZIM she said it was one of the greatest blessings of her life but went on to talk about the brokenness of the last few years.
Referring to serious allegations that first arose in 2017 and then in 2020, Davis said she was now "grieved" at her initial response to disbelieve victims and that she should have immediately called for an investigation.
She added that it hadn't been her goal to cover up the "sins of her father," who died from cancer in May 2020, to further a ministry.
"I believed this man, my father, whom I loved and trusted more than anyone else, could not have done these things ... But I was wrong."
In February, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) released a full and unedited report into Zacharias' history of sexual misconduct. The report revealed damning testimony of sexual assault against a number of female spa workers and detailed a pattern of sexually explicit communication with multiple women across the world.
The investigation, undertaken by law firm Miller & Martin, described the horrific experiences of several spa workers who said that Ravi had spiritually manipulated them into performing sexual acts in exchange for money. One of the workers alleged that she had been coerced into having sex with Ravi on multiple occasions, describing the encounters as "rape".
Canadian woman Lori Anne Thompson was sued by Zacharias when she alleged back in 2017 that they had an online sexual relationship. RZIM admitted in February that Thompson's story was, in fact, correct. "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," the group said.
In the Facebook video posted on 27th May, Davis expressed confusion as to why her father didn't confess. She added that she wanted to "right the wrongs where possible."
Davis also apologised to the women and said, "I think of you every single day."
"I am utterly devastated. I am sorry I did not see you. I am sorry that you were made powerless and rendered voiceless," she said. She thanked the survivors of her father's abuse for having the courage to speak up.
RZIM is currently the subject of an ongoing independent review which Davis said she hoped would help the organisation better understand abuse and how to prevent it, before RZIM could return to ministry. Davis also encouraged others committing similar sins to repent.
"As someone who has received God's forgiveness, and received the forgiveness of others, and as someone who has been deeply wronged, I am asking you to have the courage to give your victims the justice and dignity of acknowledging the truth," she said.