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USA News

Ravi Zacharias' daughter leaves RZIM and launches new apologetics ministry

by Kelly Valencia

Sarah Davis, the daughter of the late evangelist Ravi Zacharias, has stepped down from her role as CEO of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) to launch a new apologetics ministry. 

Davis, 46, became RZIM's CEO in November 2019 while her father was being investigated for serious allegations of sexual abuse and predatory behaviour. 

In February this year, the investigation led by law firm Miller & Martin, concluded that Ravi Zacharias was guilty of sexual misconduct having engaged in "sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape" with a number a women. 

Three months after the report was published, Davis released a video apologising for not initially believing the sexual abuse victims had undergone and acknowledged she made "serious errors that only furthered deep wounds."

According to US journalist Julie Roys, Davis has filed documents of incorporation for a new non-profit organisation called Encounter, Inc, in the state of Georgia. 

In the documents, Encounter's purpose is defined as "carrying the Gospel invitation to individuals and engaging in their questions so that they may encounter the love of Christ and enter relationship with Him."

It will also seek to engage "thoughtful individuals in Gospel conversations" and train and discipline "messengers of Christ's love for their spheres of influence."

But the news has sparked criticism among former RZIM employees. Ruth Malhotra, former public relations manager at the organisation took to twitter to say: "I'm disappointed to read that Sarah Zacharias Davis is launching a 'new' ministry.

"Sarah Davis continually drove key aspects of RZIM's destructive actions which enabled leaders to operate without accountability, silenced victims, maligned internal dissenters, & allowed ministry resources to be severely misused-all actions which significantly harmed many people." 

Malhotra also pointed out that "former RZIM speakers comprise the team" at Encounter and that the organisation employs the "same attorney as RZIM."

Former RZIM director, Carson Weitnauer also expressed his disappointment over the launch of Encounter in a Twitter thread. He said that the "new name and the new legal structure do not change that this organisation is effectively RZIM".

"I'm also disappointed that Sarah believes herself to be a credible and trusted leader of an apologetics organisation. Under her leadership, RZIM mismanaged finances, concealed sexual abuse, retaliated against employees, etc., etc., etc. ... she is disqualified for this role," he tweeted. 

Following Ravi Zacharias' sexual abuse conclusions, Davis announced RZIM intended to change the name of the organisation and remove all content featuring her father.

RZIM's board also hired New York-based organisation Guided Solutions to carry on an investigation into the organisation's culture and practice. However, the board has decided to keep any findings from becoming public. 

Premier has contacted Sarah Davis for comment. 

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