Christian and Missionary Alliance Opens Second Investigation of Ravi Zacharias
New claims raise concerns that previous allegations were not thoroughly investigated by his denomination.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) is opening a second investigation into Ravi Zacharias following new claims of sexual misconduct reported by Christianity Today.
The denomination sent a letter to Alliance workers on Friday announcing that the leadership had “determined that we must look into these new allegations, in spite of the fact that Mr. Zacharias passed away earlier this year.”
Zacharias, a prominent apologist and ministry leader, was ordained and licensed by the CMA up until his death in May. The new allegations came from former employees at two Atlanta-area day spas Zacharias co-owned and frequented for massage therapy more than a decade ago.
Three women told CT Zacharias would touch them inappropriately, expose himself, and masturbate during treatments. In a follow-up article, World magazine reported additional allegations that a therapist was fired after complaining that Zacharias asked for “more than a massage.”
Terry Smith, vice president of church ministries for the CMA, said it is unusual to investigate sexual misconduct after the accused has died, but the denomination is “fully accountable” for its licensed ministers—no matter their level of celebrity or international renown.
The CMA holds that people are disqualified from leadership if their behavior causes “imminent harm to others or to the testimony of Christ.” Its formal disciplinary procedure prioritizes restoration, however, which isn’t possible when the offending minister has died.
“Normally when a worker is investigated, they’re alive so they can speak to the accusations against them and can receive whatever punitive steps the discipline committee gives them,” Smith …
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May 18, 2021