For months now, we’ve been witnessing the fallout from the ministry of the late Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, who we now know was a sexual predator who paid multiple massage therapists using donations to his ministry, allegedly demanded sex in return from at least one of them, inappropriate touched and exposed himself to women, and spiritually abused women so they wouldn’t speak out against him.
The Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) even announced in March that it would rebrand to avoid any link to the predator.
But those links weren’t entirely severed… in large part because the new organization would still have Zacharias’ family members running the show, and some of those members continued to defend him long after the evidence became overwhelmingly.
Like Sarah Davis, Zacharias’ daughter, who ignored the initial allegations and kept defending him. She issued an apology this week to the victims of her father’s sexual abuse:
“To the women who are victims of my father’s abuse, I think of you every single day. I am utterly devastated,” she said in a video message this week. “I am sorry that I did not see you. I am sorry that you were made powerless and rendered voiceless. When you did speak up, I didn’t believe you, and I’m deeply sorry for this.”
“I earnestly wanted the truth, but I recognize that the steps I took didn’t always show this,” she shared. “I should have immediately called for an independent investigation in 2017, but I trusted my father fully, and I carried his narrative, both in 2017 and then initially in 2020, when we were first made aware of those allegations. In both of these, I know that I caused pain. I did not serve well, and I did not love well. And for this, I’m deeply sorry.”
“My goal and my heart were not to attempt to cover up the sins of my father — or any sin — to further a call or a mission,” she added. “I believed this man, my father, whom I loved and trusted more than anyone else, could not have done these things … But I was wrong.”
I don’t know if the victims will accept that apology. But the rest of us can at least judge her on her future actions, not her words. Many Christians seem to believe that the best way to handle abuse in their own house is to cover it up. The truth is, accountability and humility — especially when it involves admitting wrongdoing — go a lot further to demonstrate the values that they claim to hold dear.
But while Davis is apologizing, her own brother, Nathan Zacharias, remains on Team Ravi, even setting up a rudimentary website defending his father’s abuse.
“My sister, Sarah, recently gave a video statement on the situation with my Dad. There was no new information given, and she did not say anything she has not already said in her previous statements over the past few months. It was the same talking points.”
“She is not speaking for the family,” he added. “As has been clear, we do not share her take on this situation.”
In a May 7 blog post, Nathan Zacharias argued that the Miller & Martin investigation was “driven by a predetermined agenda, not actual evidence and truth.” He also voiced disagreement with how RZIM handled the allegations.
“We do not share her take on this situation” basically amounts to “We are denying the credible evidence and doubling down our denial.” At least, that’s how it will sound to the victims.
It’s good that at least someone in the family is brave enough to face the truth, though she’ll now have to follow through on her words. But it’s clear that no amount of evidence will convince some people that a prominent Christian apologist was also a sexual predator with a long list of victims.