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Evangelist Ravi Zacharias Accused of Sexual Abuse

2021-02-11 22:31:13
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The law firm also found a pattern of intimate text and email relationships with women. When looking at his electronic devices, they found the phone numbers of more than 200 massage therapists and more than 200 selfies, some of them naked, of much younger women. Mr. Zacharias also used the non-profit ministry to financially support some of his long-term therapists. The report also shows that he owned two apartments in Bangkok, where he spent 256 days between 2010 and 2014. One of his massage therapists stayed in the other apartment.

Mr. Zacharias said in 2017 that in 45 years of marriage, "I have never engaged in any inappropriate behavior."

The report is a devastating blow to the reputation of a man who was a widely admired evangelical leader for decades. Born in Chennai, India, and with impressive academic credentials, he had a reputation among many evangelicals as a secular and engaging intellectual. The motto of his ministry is, & # 39; Help the thinker believe. Helps the believer to think. "

Mr. Zacharias specialized in apologetics, a tradition that focuses on making logical calls for the truth of the Christian faith, and equipping evangelicals to engage non-believers in conversations about faith.

“People in the pews in evangelical churches, when they think of a Christian intellectual, they would have thought of Ravi Zacharias,” said John Fea, a historian at the evangelical Messiah College. "He had a tremendous impact on how ordinary American evangelicals thought about how to defend their faith."

He also built RZIM, which by the time of his death employed more than 100 full-time speakers around the world. The ministry appealed to Christian donors to whom Mr. Zechariah as the rare evangelist who could reach out to atheists and intellectuals in academia, corporate boardrooms, and other elite spaces. When his health failed last spring, public tributes poured in from high-profile fans, including football and baseball player Tim Tebow and Christian rap artist Lecrae.

As it turned out, Mr. Zacharias' academic reputation was based in part on exaggerations. For example, although he often calls himself 'professor' or & # 39; research fellow & # 39; at Oxford University, he had only a loose honorary connection to a Christian college there. Likewise, he had blown up his relationship with Cambridge University. And although he has the title & # 39; Dr. Zacharias ”in many contexts, including in his 2006 memoir,“ Walking From East to West ”, were his only doctorates, as RZIM admitted in 2017.

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