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USA News

US head of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries resigns

by Chantalle Edmunds

The head of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), Vince Vitale and his wife Joanna, have announced their resignations.

In a joint statement on Facebook, on July 28, the couple said they would be resigning next week. 

"We have sought to spend this season lamenting, listening, and learning from others rather than speaking, but we wanted to write at this point to let you know that we will be resigning from RZIM next week," the couple said.

As well as being head of RZIM in the U.S, Vince Vitale co-authored Jesus Among Other Gods: The Counter-Cultural Claims of Christ, with the world-renowned apologist, the late Ravi Zacharias.

Jo Vitale also works for RZIM. The couple run a RZIM podcast called Ask Away.

"We have lived with three very strong convictions. One of these convictions was that God was leading us to take seriously what we personally needed to repent of to spend far more of our prayers, thoughts, and words on our own mistakes and failures than on those of anyone else."

"Another conviction, this our most pressing, was that RZIM's response to the grave abuse that occurred was critically important most crucially for the survivors, and also for the mission and witness of the wider church in sober recognition of the need to do far better to ensure that the vulnerable are seen and heard and valued and safe," the statement continued.

They went on to explain their decision: "The third conviction we have lived with since December has been that once we had done what we could to encourage a victim-centered response, it would be important for us to step into a substantial season of reordering. This is why we are resigning now in order to embrace the time and space needed to allow ourselves to be deeply formed by all that we have been humbled by and wrecked over in the last year. One challenge we want to wrestle with is to what extent subconscious desires, for example to be thought well of or to preserve relationships, might have contributed to some of the ways we acted and failed to act.

The Vitales had apologized in February for perpetuating the "lies" of Ravi Zacharias and hurting his victims. They also acknowledged that they failed to listen to Lori Anne Thompson in 2017 when she reported Zacharias' abusive and predatory behaviour toward her.

A report released by his own ministry organisation in February concluded that Ravi Zacharias engaged in "sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape."

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.

In March, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries announced it would be changing its name and removing all Zacharias' content.


 

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