A message from your Session about Ravi Zacharias International Ministry
Our Dear Chapel Hill Family:
It is with a heavy heart that we report to you that recent rumors surrounding the sexual abuse of several women by Ravi Zacharias and the resulting cover-up were, in fact, true. The Ravi Zacharias International Ministry (RZIM) Board released the results of an independent and thorough investigation that corroborated the claims of several women and uncovered further victims as well. The board statement is available at THIS LINK.
We are, of course, grieved by this on so many fronts. Most of all, we grieve for the women who were abused, disbelieved, and humiliated for telling the truth. We pray that this revelation will be the beginning of their own healing and restoration.
We also grieve for the innocent members of the RZIM family who have been caught up in the pain of this scandal and resultant backlash, for the millions of disillusioned people around the world whose lives have been touched by this ministry, and most of all, we grieve the damage this does to the gospel and the reproach it brings to the Lord.
Hoping to learn from this incident, when we first became aware of these accusations, your Chapel Hill Session reviewed our own policies of accountability and transparency and in January, strengthened the disclosure process for all church officers. This is in addition to already-standing restrictions governing interactions between staff and parishioners.
In addition, we are taking the following two steps:
- Effective immediately, we are redirecting all RZIM giving ($5,000 annually) to International Justice Mission.
- We will conduct an audit of all our international partners regarding appropriate standards of protection, accountability, and transparency.
We know this will be disappointing to our church family. It disappoints us deeply. But we cling to the hope that the truth of the gospel of Jesus is not dependent upon its broken messengers. The one man who will never disappoint us is Jesus Christ, and it is to Him that we turn…and Him whom we will continue to proclaim.
The Session of Chapel Hill