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Church News

'He is qualified for ministry': board of new ministry started by former RZIM Abdu Murray comes out in his defence

by Kelly Valencia

The board of a new ministry started by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries' (RZIM) vice president Abdu Murray has come out in support of their current president following an investigation which found he was "not fit to be in ministry and leadership positions".

In a statement to the Christian Post, the board of Embrace the Truth said they disagreed with the report's conclusions. 

"A self-appointed tribunal of university professors and apologists issued a statement earlier this month that requires our response," they told the Christian Post. 

"The authors of the statement decided amongst themselves that Abdu Murray's response to the facts surrounding his former employer's inexcusable actions has been insufficient for him to continue to serve the Lord through this ministry or through the proclamation of the Gospel and his testimony in pulpits, and other public venues. We profoundly disagree."

The report, written by William Lane Craig, Sean McDowell, Mike Licona, Debbie Licona and Paul Copan, found RZIM's former leadership team "intimidated, mistreated or retaliated against" those staff members who tried to raise concerns about Ravi Zacharias' abuse allegations. 

It also accused them of failing to show "godly sorrow" nor "repentance for their actions". 

Murray is currently the only member of RZIM's former leadership team to be serving as a ministry leader.

For Embrace the Truth's board, the apologists' accusations are "wholly unfounded, if not absurd", and said Murray has demonstrated "a significant level of godly sorrow for the pain his own actions and/or inactions may have caused others". 

"Mr. Murray has proactively sought the forgiveness of certain parties that suffered hurt at the hands of Mr. Zacharias, and then subsequently himself, and he has spent numerous hours in conversations with the board, his senior pastor, and various other spiritual advisors to learn from these experiences," the statement continued. 

"In conclusion, we affirm without equivocation that Abdu Murray is fully qualified to be in ministry. We can personally testify to the sincere efforts he has undertaken to correct wrongs while learning valuable lessons along the way. In light of all of this, we cannot in good conscience discourage him from continuing to pursue his call to preach the Good News of Jesus through public ministry."

Shortly after the publication of the report, Naomi Zacharias, the sister of Sarah Philips, the former CEO of RZIM, also came out in her defence. 

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