RZIM Board’s Statement Regarding the Release of Guidepost’s Assessment
The past 18 months have brought to light painful and sinful realities which have impacted so many lives. We at RZIM sincerely apologize for the enormous pain caused by Ravi Zacharias' sin and our failure to uncover it sooner. Regretfully, we trusted and defended a man of whose integrity we were firmly convinced.
We hope that releasing this independent assessment of our organization produced by Guidepost Solutions will answer any remaining questions and renew our effort to be more transparent. In addition to Guidepost, RZIM retained Rachael Denhollander, a recognized expert in supporting victims of sexual abuse, to work within our survivor care process. This process provided confidential, third-party pathways for any survivors and witnesses, including any who had not yet come forward, to provide information related to abuse or harassment at RZIM.
RZIM provided financial redress to victims of Zacharias’ sexual misconduct identified through the process. Funds for these payments were supplied by proceeds from a life insurance policy on Zacharias so that donor funds would not be diminished or otherwise impacted. In addition, RZIM leadership sought to meet with and ask forgiveness of victims personally and met with those who accepted the invitation.
Although we are releasing this report, we do not agree with everything in it. We believe there are inaccurate accounts or pieces of information that were either overlooked or omitted by Guidepost and we disagree with some characterizations therein. Regardless, we believe this report provides an important assessment of our organization's actions to investigate Zacharias and the steps we sadly failed to take. The report highlighted that the work environment at RZIM was largely positive, and that organizational and financial processes were sound, as further evidenced by the last 15 years of clean audited financial statements. In its conclusion, the report provides a series of recommendations to improve accountability, transparency, and cross-functional operations. By the time the report was received, RZIM had already begun addressing many of these recommendations.
Importantly, no board or staff members were identified to have known of, or knowingly contributed to, the immoral behaviors of Ravi Zacharias as confirmed by both Miller & Martin and Guidepost. We realize however, that we were in error in allowing Zacharias’ December 2017 statement to the press that “no ministry funds were used” in connection with his legal action. As the report highlights, the ministry did provide money to Zacharias, which was used to pay the settlement and expenses. While the payments were legal and properly accounted for, we were wrong to let this misstatement stand.
We have endeavored to honor the biblical exhortation to be “quick to hear, slow to speak,” even when some narratives about RZIM differ from our experience. Our focus has been instead to repent and learn from our mistakes. We remain committed to supporting ministries that present the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those with deep questions in challenging settings around the world.
The Board of Directors