The UK ministry of Ravi Zacharias has undergone a name change in an attempt to secure its future after sexual allegations against its late founder.
Now known as ‘The Zacharias Trust’, the ministry is now an independent UK-based charity, which also operates OCCA The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Until late, it was branded as ‘Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)’.
Related: The Ravi Zacharias Fall From Grace: Are Christians Partly To Blame?
In a statement, The Zacharias Trust stated, “The UK Board of the Zacharias Trust, which operates OCCA The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, notes with deep regret and great sadness the Miller&Martin report and RZIM US statement released (yesterday).
“We are appalled by Ravi Zacharias’s abusive actions and their impact on the victims of his abuse. We also lament the effect this will have on many around the world who looked up to him as a role model for their own Christian faith. Ravi Zacharias’s conduct is against everything we stand for and believe as a Christian organisation, as we made clear in our statement in December last year. Our trust in Ravi Zacharias was wholly misplaced, and for this we apologise wholeheartedly to all those who have been impacted.
“We applaud Lori Anne Thompson and the other brave women, victims of his abuse, for coming forward to allow the abuse to be uncovered. We believe what they have said and recognise that the treatment they received was not worthy of any organisation, let alone a Christian one. We deplore any and all efforts to silence, intimidate or deceive victims, and indeed members of the global RZIM team.
“We also express our strong support for those courageous members of staff across the global RZIM ministry who have spoken out in recent months. Together with many others outside the ministry they demanded truth, repentance, accountability and reform.”
In making a clear separation from RZIM, the UK Board stated, “In governance terms the UK entity has always been a separate charity with independent trustees, but in the current circumstances we believe that we must now operate without any link to RZIM US. The UK entity will also choose a new name. This process will take time to complete but the UK Board is convinced that this is the best and only way to ensure that the ministry can continue to serve the UK church with integrity. This will also give us the opportunity to review the lessons to be learned from these awful events.”
In late February, the head of the RZIM issued a public apology after a legal audit found that sexual allegations against their late founder were true. Its Americas director, Vince Vitale, and his wife, Jo, have issued a personal apology for his role in perpetuating the lies of his former boss, Ravi Zacharias, as multiple sexual abuse claims were lodged by a number of women. Vitale, who is also the director of the UK’s Zacharias Trust, released a statement stating he was wrong “and we are profoundly sorry.”
“We were wrong and we are profoundly sorry. To all who watch or read this, thank you for allowing Jo and me to share a personal confession. I also want to acknowledge that although @Joanna_Vitale and I felt a conviction to make this confession together, the responsibility for many of the failures we describe (and others that I am still in the process of recognizing and appreciating) falls much more heavily on me because of my leadership roles from 2017 to the present.”