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Ravi Zacharias's Ministry Investigates Claims of Sexual Misconduct at Spas

Ravi Zacharias's Ministry Investigates Claims of Sexual Misconduct at Spas
Three women have come forward with additional allegations against the late Christian apologist.

DANIEL SILLIMAN
https://www.christianitytoday.com/
September 29, 2020

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has opened an investigation into allegations that its late founder and namesake sexually harassed multiple massage therapists who worked at two day spas he co-owned.

Three women who worked at the businesses, located in a strip mall in the Atlanta suburbs, told Christianity Today that Ravi Zacharias touched them inappropriately, exposed himself, and masturbated during regular treatments over a period of about five years. His business partner said he regrets not stopping Zacharias and sent an apology text to one of the victims this month.

RZIM denies the claims, saying in a statement to CT that the charges of sexual misconduct "do not in any way comport with the man we knew for decades." The organization has hired a law firm "with experience investigating such matters" to look into the allegations, which date back at least 10 years. RZIM declined to answer any further questions about the inquiry.

During his ministry career, the renowned apologist--who died in May at age 74 from cancer in his sacrum--spoke of chronic back pain resulting from a spine injury in 1985. He said he managed the pain with massage and physiotherapy.

The women who worked at the spas said when Zacharias wasn't traveling with RZIM, he came in for treatment two or three times a week. The businesses were a 15-minute drive from the ministry's headquarters in Alpharetta.

The three women knew Zacharias as the owner and a client as well as a Christian leader and famous author. Some of his books were sold in the store, and the employees read them so they could talk about them when he came in.

Zacharias was kind and took interest in their lives, according to the people who worked there. But over time, in the small private treatment rooms, Zacharias would make unwanted sexual advances, the three women each said independently. At first, they tried to ignore it, too embarrassed to call out a famous Christian minister. By their accounts, his inappropriate behavior only escalated.

"He would expose himself every time, and he would touch himself every time," one of the women told CT. "It was where he went to get what he wanted sexually."

Zacharias masturbated in front of one of the women more than 50 times, according to her recollection. He told her he was burdened by the demands of the ministry and he needed this "therapy." He also asked her to have sex with him twice, she said, and requested explicit photos of her.

CT has verified the identities and job histories of the three women. They shared their stories under the condition that they not be named, fearing the stigma of coming forward as victims and possible retribution for harming the reputation of a famous Christian leader. They spoke with CT by phone multiple times over the past five weeks, and CT heard from three coworkers at the spas who corroborated elements of their accounts.

Their claims come three months after Zacharias's death and three years after he settled a case against Lori Anne Thompson involving sexting allegations.

For the rest of the story click here: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/september/ravi-zacharias-sexual-harassment-rzim-spa-massage-investiga.html

This excellent CT editorial on why CT writes and publishes negative information on Ravi and other Christian leaders even after they are dead is important. Their points explain why, not only CT but also VOL and other Christian critics, do this.
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/september-web-only/editors-note-ravi-zacharias-investigation.html

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