Christianity Today brought wide attention to a story we’ve had at Protestia for weeks now, which is the allegations of sexual misconduct against the late famed Christian apologist and RZIM founder, Ravi Zacharias against members of his staff at Jivan Spa, a business he owned with partner Anurag Sharma.
We’ve been attesting for years now that Zacharias has been involved in some truly debauched behavior, writing as far back as early 2018 about allegations of sexual misconduct, and how Zacharias’ sexting scandal story simply did not make sense to anyone paying attention. Since then we have periodically updated with whatever new findings we gained.
In fact, we were roasted over the coals and widely condemned for including this paragraph in his obituary: “The final years of Zacharias’ ministry were marred by credible accusations of a cyber affair between he and a female follower of his ministry and the discovery that RZIM had inflated Zacharias academic credentials in its promotional materials.”
We received howls of condemnation for daring to sully his good name, and were told that obituaries were only reserved for happy memories.
Now, CT has done some rare good work and expanded a story that we had begun and helped break several weeks ago. Here are a few salient portions from the story, which describes allegations of witness testimony from the women he had in his employment:
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…
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.
The third woman said that after Zacharias exposed himself several times, he asked her to massage his groin area and moved her hand there. It is possible that his back injury caused pain in that area, she said, so she complied with his request even though it made her uncomfortable.
By that point, they had talked for hours in the private massage rooms, the woman said. He had asked about her life, and she had told him everything from her career aspirations and her struggles as a single mother to her childhood relationship with Jesus and how she had been sexually abused.
The woman felt that Zacharias was ministering to her and “there was a holiness around him.” She thought she was, in turn, helping him and felt compelled to go along to an extent.
Then Zacharias tried to move her hand to his penis, the woman told CT. She refused and turned away as he masturbated. The next time she gave him a massage he exposed himself again and masturbated again. By her account, this happened more than 50 times over the next three years.
He would say, ‘I need it. I need it. I need it,’ the woman recalled. He would say he needed it so much and it was good therapy.
Zacharias asked her to have sex with him. Both times, she refused because he was married. He told her that he dreamed of being able to leave his ministry and his life as an apologist behind to live a normal, private life. But he couldn’t because this was his ‘burden,’ the woman recalled.
‘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.
Sharma, an IT professional, met Zacharias in the mid-1990s. In one conversation, recorded by someone not associated with the spas, Sharma describes himself as Zacharias’s close friend. Even after the business relationship ended, they continued to talk until the day Zacharias died, he said.
‘He had no friends, and he needed somebody to talk to,’ Sharma said. ‘He was very sad about all his demons, and he said that was the condition of the human heart.’
This is one of the rare occasions where we would encourage our readers to read the long article from Christianity today, as it largely echoes what we’ve already said, but provides much more detail of the allegations. The whole article is here.
As far as what that means for his legacy, the investigation that is supposedly taking place, how we should view his conversion in light of eternity, and the fact that he went to the grave seemingly in unacknowledged, unrepented of, a gross moral failing; we can only pray that he learned enough of the gospel during his time teaching it to have truly believed it at the end.