The board of RZIM says that it is "with shattered hearts" they are confirming sexual assault allegations against its founder, Ravi Zacharias, which includes rape.
This story includes details and language regarding sexual assault that may be difficult for some to read.
Christianity Today published a story on September 29, 2020, citing allegations by three anonymous sources that the late Ravi Zacharias sexually harassed them at two spas he co-owned. Following the allegations, RZIM hired private law firm Miller and Martin to conduct an investigation. Late Thursday afternoon the report was released in its entirety which shows a pattern of sexual abuse by Zacharias over many years.
"Tragically, witnesses described encounters including sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape," RZIM says in the statement. "We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse."
RZIM says they believe the women who have spoken out publically and privately.
"We were wrong."
The organization says they are thinking "very differently" about Lori Anne Thompson's 2017 accusations, calling their actions a failure and saying their denial allowed her to experience tremendous pain. Thompson is a Canadian woman who came forward about her inappropriate relationship with Zacharias and was then silenced by a nondisclosure agreement.
"We believe Lori Anne Thompson has told the truth about the nature of her relationship with Ravi Zacharias," the board says in its statement. "It is with profound grief that we recognize that because we did not believe the Thompsons and both privately and publicly perpetuated a false narrative, they were slandered for years and their suffering was greatly prolonged and intensified. This leaves us heartbroken and ashamed."
RZIM says they are seeking the forgiveness of Thompson.
The ministry says the findings of the report will be devastating to not only Zacharias' wife, son, and daughters, and to his entire family. They say they are praying for them as they mourn.
"It is our hope that they will receive the healing and restoration that God alone can provide."
With files from Taylor Brock & Mike Thom