Both the denomination which held the late Ravi Zacharias' ministry credentials and the ministry organization he founded have opened investigations after more allegations of sexual misconduct by the apologist were recently brought forward.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) had previously investigated claims that Zacharias sought out sexually explicit photos from a Canadian woman he met through his ministry. The woman, Lori Anne Thompson, also claimed the two engaged in phone sex. Zacharias had admitted they had a correspondence but denied the other claims. The CMA had clear Zacharias in 2017 of any wrongdoing.
Three women have recently come forward and told Christianity Today that Zacharias sexually harassed them at a spa he owned in Atlanta, Georgia.
The women allege that "Zacharias touched them inappropriately, exposed himself," and inappropriately touched himself in their presence over a five-year period. They say that Zacharias had originally made them feel cared for, asking about their lives, and getting to know them. However, they say, once he had gained their trust he began to act inappropriately.
The women told CT they did not come forward earlier for a variety of reasons, such as being confused and feeling they had done something wrong. They also did not want to be seen as trying to bring down a Christian leader. The women say they are not seeking any money.
Last week the CMA sent a letter to workers saying that it is opening an investigation once again, according to Christianity Today.
Terry Smith, vice president of church ministries for the CMA, tells CT that it is unusual to investigate sexual misconduct after the accused has died.
“Normally when a worker is investigated, they’re alive so they can speak to the accusations against them and can receive whatever punitive steps the discipline committee gives them,” Smith tells CT. “Our goal [here] is to discover the truth to the best of our ability to do so.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries says it will also open an investigation.
"Having read recently reported allegations against the late Ravi Zacharias, we are shocked and deeply distressed by them. While these allegations are not consistent with the man many have known for decades, we take any allegations of this nature extremely seriously," RZIM says.
The ministry has commissioned a law firm with expertise in such investigations, it says, and it is "committed to submitting fully to this investigation, and to publicly releasing its findings.
"As followers of Christ who passionately believe that every person bears the image of God, we detest any sin of abuse."
RZIM says it will not be making any comments for the duration of the investigation. "We would be deeply grateful for your prayers at this time, and join with others in praying for all who are affected by these allegations."