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World News

RZIM to investigate new sexual misconduct allegations against Ravi Zacharias

The late Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias is facing a fresh set of sexual misconduct allegations.  

Zacharias, who died of cancer in May, is alleged to have made unwanted sexual advances towards a number of women who worked at two spa facilities that he co-owned in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. 

Three women who formerly worked at the 'Touch of Eden' and 'Jivan Wellness' spas spoke to US outlet Christianity Today about their experiences, claiming that Zacharias touched them inappropriately, exposed himself and propositioned them for sex on multiple occasions. 

In response, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), a globally-renowned Christian apologetics organisation, announced that it will launch an "independent external investigation" into the behaviour of its late founder.

RZIM insisted that the allegations against Zacharias "do not in any way comport with the man we knew for decades" and declared that they "believe them to be false".

"These allegations pertain to businesses that were closed nearly a decade ago," the group continued. "These allegations were never made during Ravi’s lifetime, but were first presented to a third party more than three months after his death."

RZIM concluded: "We do not intend to comment further about this matter until the investigation’s findings are presented to the executive committee of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. We at RZIM remain committed to truth; it is the foundation of what we do and that has not changed." 

This is not the first time Zacharias has faced allegations related to sexual misconduct. In 2017, a married woman alleged that she had entered into a period of sexually inappropriate communication with Zacharias after meeting him at a radio event in Canada.

The situation was confirmed by a written statement from Zacharias in 2017 in which he said that the woman sent him unsolicited photos of an explicit nature. 

Zacharias went on to file a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) after the woman and her husband demanded $5 million in order to release him from pending litigation related to the scandal. The matter was eventually settled, with both parties signing a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) that prevented them from speaking about the details publicly. 

Ravi admitted and apologised for engaging in private communications with the woman, but denied allegations that he solicited the inappropriate photos from her.

"I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry," he wrote at the time.

In a recent statement released following further allegations from the woman, RZIM reiterated the fact that Zacharias "denied any sexually or romantically inappropriate conduct" and that he "stood by that statement until his death".

"His denial is consistent with the character of the man we knew and worked alongside for years," they added. 

 

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