On January 21, 2020, the couple donated $ 30,000 to support Christian ministry of apology, outreach, training and other programs, according to the complaint.
The “defendants presented themselves as Christian apologetics charged with defending Christianity. The accused further presented themselves as pious disciples of the Holy Gospel, maintaining a religious level of morality and following the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Zechariah, according to the complaint, presented himself as a “devoted Christian who led a Christian lifestyle consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ and who was worthy to guide others in their Christian faith.”
Instead, Zacharias and the ministry “deceived faithful Christians, soliciting their financial support for his so-called mission of Christian evangelism, apologetic defense of Christianity, and humanitarian efforts.” The defendants stole tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars from well-meaning donors who believed RZIM and Zacharias were faith-filled Christian leaders. In fact, Zacharias was a prolific sexual predator who used his ministry and RZIM funds to perpetrate sexual and spiritual abuse against women, ”according to the lawsuit.
An external investigation by an Atlanta law firm commissioned by RZIM’s international board of directors released a final report earlier this year that found credible evidence that Zacharias was involved in several incidents of unwanted contact, sexting, spiritual abuse and rape linked to two day spas he co-owned, and RZIM officials acknowledged that the incidents could go beyond those spas.
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The investigation included a review of her electronic devices and found evidence of text-based and email-based relationships with women, as well as more than 200 ‘selfie’ style photographs of women.
The scope of the investigation did not extend specifically to ministry finances, although it did reveal that four women had received money from the discretionary fund from a ministry-related humanitarian effort.
Investigators said they found no evidence that anyone within RZIM or on the board was aware of the misconduct.
Atlanta attorney Mike McGlamry, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said there could be “thousands” of additional donors. “When people (like the Bearers) have such a commitment to their faith, they expect and want it from others. Then to find out that this is all a sham, it has a bigger impact.
The complaint seeks the certification of a class action, unspecified monetary damages, attorney fees and a jury trial.
McGlamry said although he doesn’t know for sure: “I would expect donations to run the gamut from very small to very large.”
Its most recent Form 990, for 2014, showed RZIM had total revenue of $ 25.74 million.
Ravi Zacharias’ total compensation that yearwas over $ 365,000.