'Criminal, sociopathic, satanic': Christian leaders react to Ravi Zacharias sex abuse report
After an independent investigation uncovered evidence of rape, other acts of sexual abuse and numerous extramarital relationships carried out by late apologist Ravi Zacharias, pastors and ministry leaders reacted with horror and dismay.
“This report pictures not a mere ‘moral failure,’ but a pattern of predation that can only be described as criminal, sociopathic, and indeed, satanic,” Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore wrote in a scathing op-ed.
More than 50 people were interviewed, including more than a dozen massage therapists, for the 12-page report from the law firm Miller & Martin, commissioned by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.
Investigators uncovered "text- and email-based relationships" with women who were not Zacharias' wife, along with more than 200 photos of women on his devices. It also found allegations of spiritual abuse, rape and other sexual misdeeds.
The report comes three years after Zacharias, who died last year at the age of 74, denied accusations of an illicit online sexual relationship with Canadian Lori Ann Thompson, who claimed in 2017 that the apologist engaged “in sexually explicit online conversations” with her and solicited indecent photos of her.
In a statement, the RZIM board called the report’s findings “horrendous.”
“We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had not previously made public allegations against Ravi but whose identities and stories were uncovered during the investigation,” the statement read.
“Tragically, witnesses described encounters including sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse and rape. We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse.”
Here is how pastors and Christian leaders reacted to the evidence against Zacharias.