Ministry-funded assessment shows the board didn’t ask questions but came up with creative ways to redirect donor funds.
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) spent nearly $1 million to defend its founder and namesake against allegations of sexual misconduct in 2017 and then lied about it, according to an RZIM-funded assessment obtained by CT.
RZIM approved an external review last year to examine the ministry culture and practices that enabled apologist Ravi Zacharias to sexually abuse multiple women and almost completely cover it up. Investigators found that the board used deceptive financial maneuvers to fund the RZIM founder’s federal lawsuit against a woman he sexually abused.
Bills were sent to a board member, records were kept in a confidential financial file, settlement money was given to Zacharias as a personal loan, and the personal loan was paid off with a bonus. When the lawsuit came to light in 2017, the ministry officially misstated the fact that “no ministry funds were used.”
The executive committee of the board and some members of the RZIM leadership team knew the statement was false, according to the 78-page assessment completed by Guidepost Solutions. None of them corrected the record.
“There are no immediate consequences,” an RZIM accountant said in an email to the chief financial officer in 2017, which was forwarded to the CEO the same day. “I just pray the ministry is never challenged or brought to account.”
Five months and more than 55 interviews
RZIM hired Guidepost Solutions, a corporate consulting firm that specializes in reviewing how organizations handle sexual misconduct, in February 2021. The review followed a four-month investigation by another firm, which uncovered a pattern of abuse by Zacharias and a lack of accountability by RZIM.
Guidepost set up a system for additional …